AUGUST 25, 2008
The rise in violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants nationwide is evidently not enough to convince the country’s local police forces to team up with federal authorities to assure offenders are deported before they strike again.
Rape, murder, child molestation, drunken driving that has killed innocent families and assault are just some of the violent crimes committed in the last few years by illegal immigrants who remained in the U.S. even though they had previous criminal records. In many of the cases the offenders had multiple encounters with local police but were never asked about their immigration status.
That’s because local law enforcement agencies from coast-to-coast have policies—some official and others unspoken—that forbid officers from inquiring about a suspect’s immigration status. The rapid escalation in illegal immigrant crimes has not inspired a widespread policy change, however.
An alarming news report reveals that only 55 of nearly 20,000 local law enforcement agencies across the nation have bothered to sign agreements to coordinate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deal with illegal immigrant encounters in their communities.
Local officials say that playing a role in immigration enforcement would create accusations of racial profiling and cause their departments to lose the trust of immigrant communities. Immigrants would be reluctant to report crimes out of fear they will be deported, the local officials say.
This mentality exists in several major police departments located in states with high illegal immigrant populations that border Mexico. El Paso and Houston, official illegal immigrant sanctuary cities, have policies forbidding officers from inquiring about legal status as do police departments in Los Angeles and San Francisco, to name a few. The Phoenix Police Department had a similar policy until a Judicial Watch lawsuit threat motivated the chief to reverse it earlier this year.
Judicial Watch has legally challenged other departments’ don’t-ask-don’t tell policies that have enabled hardcore criminals to victimize innocent Americans. Court cases are pending against police departments in Los Angeles, the District of Columbia, Chicago and Houston. This month, Judicial Watch obtained crucial records on a violent illegal immigrant gang banger who had been previously arrested by San Francisco’s police department yet was released. He went on to murder man and his two sons.
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