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The Laws Cops Can’t Enforce

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  • The Laws Cops Can’t Enforce

    BY MESA,AZ CHIEF OF POLICE GEORGE GASCON

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/op...=1&oref=slogin

    OUR next president faces a formidable task. He will be forced to deal with two difficult wars, an economic downturn, higher energy prices and a bankrupt federal immigration policy.

    To some, immigration pales in comparison with the wars and the economy. But for others, especially police departments in border states like mine, it is all-consuming. The first priority of the next president should be legislation that addresses the legitimate concerns of both the people who believe our borders are out of control and those who want equal protection for everyone living in this country.

    Immigration issues are tearing apart communities. Demagoguery and misinformation are shaping public opinion and in some cases public policy. In the absence of a clear federal policy on immigration, states and cities are enacting draconian and constitutionally questionable laws.

    This patchwork of conflicting local immigration laws is creating an untenable situation for police officials who face demands to crack down on immigrants — demands that contradict policing practices that have led to significant declines in crime.

    For police officials, refusing to carry out policies that may violate the Constitution can be career-threatening. Both sides in the immigration debate accuse police departments of misconduct in dealing with immigrants. In this politically charged environment, some chiefs are making decisions based on bad politics instead of sound policing. In many cases, police officers are making illegal arrests with the acquiescence and sometimes explicit approval of their superiors.

    Here in Arizona, a wedge is being driven between the local police and some immigrant groups. Some law enforcement agencies are wasting limited resources in operations to appease the public’s thirst for action against illegal immigration regardless of the legal or social consequences.

    America’s 500,000 police officers are sworn to enforce the law. But we are increasingly unable to do so. Those who want to restrict immigration criticize us for not arresting immigrants for entering the country illegally. Yet others rightly wonder how we can do our job if some residents are afraid to report crimes or otherwise cooperate with the police for fear of deportation.

    Without a national immigration policy, a new culture of lawlessness will increasingly permeate our society. In cities, politicians will pressure police departments to reduce immigration by using racial profiling and harassment. At the same time, immigrants who fear that the police will help deport them will rely less on their local officers and instead give thugs control of their neighborhoods.

    Many top law enforcement officials were part of the community policing revolution of the 1980s and ’90s. We have a deep concern for constitutional rights and social justice. We believe that effective policing requires residents, regardless of immigration status, to trust the police.

    We are also students of the mistakes of our predecessors. Past police practices helped lead to the civil unrest of the 1960s, which tore our nation apart along racial and political lines. We do not want to repeat those mistakes.

    If we become a nation in which the local police are the default enforcers of a failing federal immigration policy, the years of trust that police departments have built up in immigrant communities will vanish. Some minority groups may once again view police officers as armed instruments of government oppression.

    A wink and a nod will no longer suffice as an immigration policy. Effective border control is a critical step. But so is ensuring that otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants have the same protections as everyone else in a modern, free society.

    Presidential candidates need to specify the measures on immigration they would present to Congress after Inauguration Day. No doubt, the advisers to John McCain and Barack Obama are counseling them to be vague. That’s the wrong advice.

    America’s police officers deserve thoughtful federal leadership so that we can continue doing our best to provide our country with the security that defines a civilized society.

    George Gascón, a former assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department, is a lawyer and the chief of the police department in Mesa, Ariz.

  • #2
    It is funny when I hear illegal aliens referred to as immigrants. Illegal aliens are uninvited intruders who have trespassed illegally into our country. Immigrants are people who waited their turn, came here through the proper channels and acclimate themselves to the American way of life. It is an insult to put the two in the same category.
    Furthermore, police being worried about illegals not reporting crimes is a joke. Many of them don't report crimes to begin with regardless. Also I would be very interested to see the statistics from the Phoenix Police Dept. regarding how many criminal suspects are illegal aliens themselves.
    Last edited by NYFedLeo; 07-31-2008, 07:14 PM.
    Calling an Illegal Alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NYFedLeo View Post
      It is funny when I hear illegal aliens referred to as immigrants. Illegal aliens are uninvited intruders who have trespassed illegally into our country. Immigrants are people who waited their turn, came here through the proper channels and acclimate themselves to the American way of life. It is an insult to put the two in the same category.
      Furthermore, police being worried about illegals not reporting crimes is a joke. Many of them don't report crimes to begin with regardless. Also I would be very interested to see the statistics from the Phoenix Police Dept. regarding how many criminal suspects are illegal aliens themselves.
      +1
      Don't tase me bro!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NYFedLeo View Post
        It is funny when I hear illegal aliens referred to as immigrants. Illegal aliens are uninvited intruders who have trespassed illegally into our country. Immigrants are people who waited their turn, came here through the proper channels and acclimate themselves to the American way of life. It is an insult to put the two in the same category.
        Furthermore, police being worried about illegals not reporting crimes is a joke. Many of them don't report crimes to begin with regardless. Also I would be very interested to see the statistics from the Phoenix Police Dept. regarding how many criminal suspects are illegal aliens themselves.
        Indeed, too bad we can't bill Mexico for educating their citizens and providing for them in prisons.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NYFedLeo View Post
          Illegal aliens are uninvited intruders who have trespassed illegally into our country. Immigrants are people who waited their turn, came here through the proper channels and acclimate themselves to the American way of life.
          I could not agree more, it is just a political way to get a person to believe something that is not true. Somehow we are all connected to someone who IMIGRATED, you lump people together then people start to think, “Hmm Grandpa Joe Immigrated, what is wrong with these people doing the same?” it is not the same thing it is night and day, if you want to immigrate to this country fine, we welcome you, jump a fence to get here and never fill out the paperwork we do not want you, go back until you can follow the rules, it is not that hard.
          It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

          Comment


          • #6
            VERY well said NYFedLeo.
            Very well said.
            Honestly, down here RIGHT next to the boarder, we have too many trying to push the two together and demand rights for the ones here illegally.
            Sorry, your breaking the law from the start.....I work full time, have my own apartment, car and all..but I don't even have medical insurance. can't afford it. I have NOT been covered on over three years.
            they come over and get in a snap.
            I make too much for "sliding scale" they come over and get it with out any documents.
            The one thing that I have always been anger over is years back (like 2000) I worked in a housing program. We had a illegal over here, HIV positive in a HUD funded program.
            My boss said, well HUD didn't say illegals can't be helped also.

            WT hell....
            ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
            Oscar Wilde

            Comment


            • #7
              Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.
              Calling an Illegal Alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NYFedLeo View Post
                Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.
                Best quote and analogy I've read in a long time.
                Vir rationem suorum gestorum libenter reddit,
                sive iustorum sive iniustorum.
                Eventus horum non detrectat,
                sed cum his cotidie vivit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  NYFedleo for president

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kilrain View Post
                    Best quote and analogy I've read in a long time.
                    +1.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [I would be very interested to see the statistics from the Phoenix Police Dept. regarding how many criminal suspects are illegal aliens themselves.[/QUOTE]

                      It WOULD be interesting--- unfortunately we're not "allowed" to make such inqueries. My best guess is that of saaaaaay 100 Hispanic "types" arrested 60-75% are from South of the Border (Includes Central american countries)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        +1 million to NYFedLeo's excellent comments.

                        Isn't this the police chief that was giving Arapaio a bunch of guff for running his stings? Or was that Phoenix's chief, I forget.

                        He does include a dig in there about that though -
                        Some law enforcement agencies are wasting limited resources in operations to appease the public’s thirst for action against illegal immigration regardless of the legal or social consequences.
                        Wasting limited resources? How does he know the state of those departments better than their own managers?

                        And I really love how he references the "social and legal consequences" of enforcing laws against illegals, yet refuses to recognize the "social and legal consequences" of the illegals themselves! If he did, he wouldn't include his veiled plea for amnesty for those already here - "But so is ensuring that otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants have the same protections as everyone else in a modern, free society".

                        Basic rights, sure, but not the rights of citizens, since they aren't citizens.
                        For every one hundred men you send us,
                        Ten should not even be here.
                        Eighty are nothing but targets.
                        Nine of them are real fighters;
                        We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
                        Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
                        And he will bring the others back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Elmer it was Mesa's Chief and Phoenix's Mayor that are hounding Uncle Joe, who I think, although he treats his guys like crap, is actually doing a worthwhile job of rounding up the Illegals....I just wish Mayor Gordon (Phx Mayor) would back him because he's actually a pretty good guy and very very pro police. (Only politician I know of that gave a Phoenix Officer his home phone number after he had been shot and told him that if he planned on getting out of town for a bit with his wife to call him and he'd watch the Officers kids and meant it)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HotSoup View Post
                            Elmer it was Mesa's Chief and Phoenix's Mayor that are hounding Uncle Joe, who I think, although he treats his guys like crap, is actually doing a worthwhile job of rounding up the Illegals....I just wish Mayor Gordon (Phx Mayor) would back him because he's actually a pretty good guy and very very pro police. (Only politician I know of that gave a Phoenix Officer his home phone number after he had been shot and told him that if he planned on getting out of town for a bit with his wife to call him and he'd watch the Officers kids and meant it)
                            Interesting - thank you.
                            For every one hundred men you send us,
                            Ten should not even be here.
                            Eighty are nothing but targets.
                            Nine of them are real fighters;
                            We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
                            Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
                            And he will bring the others back.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A wink and a nod will no longer suffice as an immigration policy. Effective border control is a critical step. But so is ensuring that otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants have the same protections as everyone else in a modern, free society.

                              "....otherwise law-abiding"? Does this mean that Gascon places immigration holds on illegal aliens who are arrested for other offenses (ie: driving while unlicensed, DWI, domestic violence, assault, etc...)? I don't believe it for one second. How does the City of Mesa (AZ) differ from "sanctuary cities" like San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc...?
                              "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                              Comment

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