Are Local Police Wasting Resources Enforcing Immigration Laws?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Since 1996, local police have been enlisted to help enforce immigration violations. Now questions are being raised as to whether some jurisdictions are using the program to arrest illegal immigrants for traffic violations, and thus reducing the resources they have available to combat more serious crimes. In addition, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) discovered that more than half of the police departments surveyed expressed concerns that enforcing immigration policy has damaged the trust relationship between the police department and its community, making their jobs harder.

Civil rights groups have also alleged that some local police departments are abusing section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to engage in ethnic profiling.
The GAO report emphasized that the intent of the 287(g) agreement was to have the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) partner with local law enforcement agencies to catch serious criminals, like narcotics smugglers, not people who are driving too fast. The GAO produced a list of recommended reforms to 287(g), that focuses on clarifying intended goals for local police partners, however the status of the progress of these reforms is still unclear.
-Tyler Schenk-Wasson
Police Partnerships Lead to Racial Profiling (by William Fisher, The World According to Bill Fisher)


Leave a comment