Mayor Jean Stothert and Police Chief Todd Schmaderer issued a letter last week reassuring that police won’t be probing legal status on victims and witnesses of crimes, but those who commit crimes can expect to see police cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies.

Latino Center of the Midlands Executive Director Albert Varas responded by asking the mayor and police chief to meet and elaborate on how they would define the “crimes” that would trigger police cooperation. It’s unclear from President Trump’s executive order that even the smallest charge might not be cause for deportation, much less a conviction.

The letter was sent to South Omaha agencies and people working in youth services, health care, education, job training and business associations to calm heightened concerns about immigration arrests in the wake of statements by President Donald Trump that an unprecedented enforcement effort was underway. The letter just affirms existing police procedures.

“Please be assured that Omaha police officers do not and will not seek out individuals to check their legal status,” Stothert and Schmaderer wrote in the letter. “This is not the mission or duty of the Omaha Police Department…whether you are the victim of a crime or witness a crime, you can be confident you can seek help from our police department without fear.”

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