Police in New Orleans are taking steps to strengthen ties with its Hispanic community by softening immigration policies. NOPD wants to remove fear of deportation for those living in the United States illegally.
Pablo Corona moved to Hancock County after Hurricane Katrina for an opportunity to work during the rebuild process. Corona now owns a successful construction company that remodels and builds homes.
Although Corona came to the US without permission, he became an American citizen nearly two years ago.
"I did it for pride. I love this country as much as I love my own country. When you come here, you come for better opportunities. Of course you have to learn the language, you have to learn the culture. Like a lot of people say, you love it or you leave it," said Corona.
Corona believes NOPD's softer approach on immigration policies will go a long way in helping the department prevent and solve crime.
"It's going to benefit the entire community. If an illegal immigrant sees something happening that is illegal, is wrong, they will probably make a phone call to the police station to let them know something is happening without being afraid of being deported," explained Corona.
Leaders from the Waveland Police Department say while they don't have a big Hispanic population, and it's not part of an official policy, they already operate in a similar manner.
"The amount of Hispanic population that we really deal with on a criminal basis is really low. We don't call immigration every time we talk to someone. If there's a crime committed we report it, we prosecute. The victim is treated like a victim, like they should be. The fact that they are an illegal really doesn't play into it until they commit a crime," said Chief David Allen, with the Waveland Police Department.
Pablo Corona would like law enforcers across the United States to follow the NOPD's lead.
The Police Department in San Francisco California operates under a similar policy as the New Orleans Police Department.