(Founder’s message: This is a nonpartisan Blog post that does not support a particular candidate, a specific political party, or any agenda related to a politician. This Blog is being written to express my expert opinion relative to this very misunderstood and politicized topic. Please understand I am simply stating a position of support for POLICE within our local communities.)
What role should your local law enforcement professional play in the very controversial topic of ‘immigration’ and “Sanctuary Cities”?…a VERY limited role! This topic will continue to show in the Media and there are very filtered stories about local police and what they should do, relating to this topic. Police Officers in America should NOT be agents of the Federal Government by acting as immigration authority. Allow me to explain:
HOPE4BLUE is focused on building Unity within our cities and all communities. The job of ‘immigration’ is that of the Federal Government and Federal Law Enforcement Officers that have the training, expertise, and responsibility for this enforcement. Your local law enforcement officers, police officers, and city, county, and state police have NO business acting or working as ‘immigration agents’ for the Federal Government. Our local police are sworn to serve our residents, all residents, and enforce state laws and city ordinances. When and if they arrest an illegal immigrant, they simply place a ‘hold’ on the arrested person with the corrections department that has responsibility of notifying Federal Officials (I.C.E.) of the status of the arrested person. That’s it…and this is where it should remain. Now what happens with the Sheriffs, Attorney Generals, and your state Governors is where this is a serious issue. If they are not acting in your best interests then vote them out of office.
The part that is different from state to state is what happens after your local police make the notification upon booking suspects into Jail. Some states follow Federal guidelines/laws and make appropriate notifications…other states do not. This is where the term “sanctuary cities” is used…and abused. A “sanctuary city” is a city that limits its cooperation with the national government efforts to enforce immigration law (defined by many authorities). In some cities, they have passed ordinances and given orders to local police that NO citizen is asked of their residency status, at any time, by anyone. This is a problem and the crime rate will show where those states are because, if you are not deporting violent criminals that are here illegally, then there is absolutely NO deterrent for them to continue to victimize the good citizens of our Nation…and that is dead wrong.
NOTE: In my 28+ years of policing in 2 major cities with 6 years as a major city Chief of Police (Fort Worth), I know firsthand that the overwhelming majority of people who are residing here illegally are law abiding, family centered, peaceful and have a great deal of respect for our Country, our cultures, and our Police! Those that do not and commit violent and heinous acts need to be reported, deported, and flagged so they never enter America at any time in the future (my opinion only). Furthermore, if your city/state is in direct violation of our National focus on immigration, there needs to be sanctions such as restrictions on Federal subsidies, grants, and infrastructure funding. There is truly a way for our elected officials, city, state, and Federal, to ‘get along’ relative to this topic and as residents and voters, we should demand this from all of them. We need to end the “us vs. them” arguments and begin a unified dialogue.
Lastly, when your local police begin acting as Federal agents, there will be an extreme distrust from many residents and that will impact our relationships, communication about crime and criminals, and support within areas where these relationships are critical for reducing crime in all parts of your city! Our local police professionals have too much on their plate already and handle issues, very serious and dangerous issues that do not belong in the job function of “police officer”; Let’s not add “immigration agent” to the already overwhelming job of keeping the peace and serving our communities. We need our police officers helping our residents, serving our citizens, and they need our prayers, our continued support, and our unified respect! We all deserve to live in a nation of law & order.