Immediate Termination of all State and Local Immigration Enforcement Urged

mansion-160425_640Today, the White House released The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in response to demands from special interest communities and recent events such as Ferguson and Baltimore.  The 116-page report details sweeping new policies that the task force believes will result in greater trust between police and the communities in which they serve.

One section of the report focuses on how state and local law enforcement should deal with “immigrant” communities. It should be noted, nowhere is a distinction made between an illegal and legal immigrant. Two areas stand out:

Section 1.9 encourages law enforcement to, “build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities,” and that, “whenever possible, state and local law enforcement should not be involved in immigration enforcement.”  Their argument is that immigrants are hesitant to share information with police if they fear deportation. In reality, legal immigrants have nothing to fear and neither do illegal immigrants.  Police already have the discretion to provide immunity for crime witnesses who may be illegal aliens and they routinely exercise it.  (We know of no instance in which an illegal alien provided vital information about a serious crime and was deported.) After all, if illegal aliens were afraid of being deported, why do they protest in the street, walk the halls of Congress, and hold up signs reading “Undocumented and Unafraid? enfThis “fear” is purely a concoction of the advocacy network.

Another section, 1.9.1, recommends “decoupling federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and non-serious crime.” It urges DHS to “terminate the use of the state and local criminal justice system including detention, notification and transfer requests” (meaning abolishing detainer holds entirely).

The report then repeats the assertion of the Major Cities Chiefs Association that, “immigration is a federal policy between the U.S. government and other countries, not local or state entities.” This conveniently punts the responsibility of immigration enforcement to the federal government.

And that’s the rub because at the federal level, the Obama administration has systematically gutted most interior and perimeter responsibility. This administration won’t enforce the laws nationally and won’t tolerate it locally.

Ultimately, enforcement is supposed to happen at one level or the other – ideally at both levels (concurrent authority) – yet if the recommendations of the task force were put in place and no state and local enforcement or information sharing was permitted, all remaining vestiges of immigration controls would cease to exist in the U.S.

If the intended purpose of the president’s task force was to build trust between police and communities it fails miserably because one important community is overlooked; American citizens who expect laws to be upheld and enforced.  Recommending that local and state law enforcement surrender their authority to assist in enforcement further erodes the trust of citizens.  It also reveals the more likely purpose of this administration and the task force’s report: further whittling away of meaningful U.S. immigration controls.