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Thread: Tucson’s Police Chief: Sessions’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Will Make Cities More Dange

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    Tucson’s Police Chief: Sessions’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Will Make Cities More Dange

    Tucson’s Police Chief: Sessions’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Will Make Cities More Dangerous

    By CHRIS MAGNUSDEC. 6, 2017

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    TUCSON — As the police chief here, I’m deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s campaign against “sanctuary cities,” which refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. Washington is trying to retaliate against them by withholding funding for things like crime prevention, drug treatment and mental health programs.

    Tucson is not technically a sanctuary city. But we are close to the border with Mexico and take pride in being welcoming to immigrants. Yet the government has warned us that our grants are in danger.

    Still, while federal judges in Chicago and San Francisco have ruled against President Trump’s executive order to withhold money from sanctuary cities, the administration’s crackdown on immigrants is already having a chilling effect on police-community relations here. Many community members have told me that Latinos are not turning to us for help or working with us as often as they have in the past. Their growing sense of fear and distrust is clearly a consequence of the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    The Justice Department could be playing a key role in building on the Obama-era policing reforms that many of my fellow police chiefs strongly support. Instead, the changes it wants to make — to force local police officers to cooperate much more closely with federal immigration authorities — will compromise public safety by reducing community confidence in law enforcement.

    To be sure, violent crime has risen in some cities over the past couple years. But the administration’s response, paradoxically, is shortsighted policies that hurt local law enforcement agencies. An associate deputy attorney general, Steven Cook, recently explained the department’s rationale this way: “It is unfortunate that cities like Chicago are more interested in implementing their extreme sanctuary policies that put criminal aliens back on the street than in addressing violent crime.”

    That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Public safety has always been our top priority.

    The message from Washington is that cities need to refocus on “law and order.” Yet the harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and Mr. Sessions’s reckless policies ignore a basic reality known by most good cops and prosecutors: If people are afraid of the police, if they fear they may become separated from their families or harshly interrogated based on their immigration status, they won’t report crimes or come forward as witnesses.
    When crime victims and witnesses are unwilling to testify because they’re afraid an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent will be waiting to arrest them at the courtroom doors, real criminals go unpunished. It means drug dealers and people who commit domestic and sexual violence are free to exploit a voiceless class of victims; such criminals become a threat to us all.

    It’s a simple formula. When crimes go unreported and unsolved, criminals are empowered.
    Most law enforcement professionals agree that “sanctuary city” designations mean little from a policing standpoint. Almost all local law enforcement agencies, regardless of the “sanctuary” or “immigrant-welcoming” policies adopted by their jurisdictions, cooperate with federal authorities to go after drug cartels, human traffickers and transnational gangs.

    Yet these designations can serve a legitimate purpose: They make clear that everyone in our community has a role in preventing and reducing crime. And they send a message to all members of the public, whether they have immigration documents or not, that the police are first and foremost there to protect them.
    The Justice Department wants Americans to believe that recent upticks in violent crime are tied to undocumented immigrants or cities’ failure to “get tough on crime.” The facts don’t support this narrative. The reality is, cities with fewer crime-fighting resources often experience increases in crime. Crime also may increase in places where crime victims and witnesses are fearful of working with law enforcement.
    The Justice Department’s rush to undermine crime-reduction initiatives put in place under past administrations is damaging police-community relationships and dismantling valuable public safety resources. It has effectively abandoned collaborative “reform agreements” to help police departments mend or improve relationships with the communities they serve.

    The Justice Department also no longer prioritizes working with local jurisdictions to carry out the recommendations of the 21st Century Policing Task Force, a team of police executives, criminal justice experts and community leaders. And now, critical federal funding, like Justice Assistance Grants, is threatened to advance an anti-immigrant agenda.

    Mr. Sessions talks a great deal about the need to preserve “local control,” yet he wants to dictate how local police agencies interact with their undocumented immigrant populations. The Trump administration seems to think it knows more about fighting crime than local police chiefs and sheriffs, and it is punishing cities that keep their officers focused on community needs rather than federal immigration enforcement.

    Tucson has come too far to jeopardize reforms that strengthen relationships with the public we serve. Justice Department grants and other federal support funded through our taxes should not be tied to immigration policies.

    Holding the needs of state and local law enforcement hostage to politics ultimately works against the interests of safety and justice.

    Chris Magnus is Tucson’s chief of police.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/opinion/tucson-police-immigration-jeff-sessions.html




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    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    They take PRIDE in welcoming rapists, drugs, gangs, and criminals that MURDER their citizens in Arizona?

    How about the young kid that had HIS HEAD BLOWN OFF at the convenience store for a Pack of Cigarettes!

    ARE YOU "TROUBLED" BY THAT? APPARENTLY NOT!
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    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    So what gives here? US citizens are under obligation to assist LE authorities in certain conditions. And illegal aliens can button up their lips? This is upside down.
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    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David

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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Tucson seems to have been a sanctuary city before it was popular. Tucson tried to get around it by claiming itself to be a "welcoming city" so they could cover for illegals and still get government funds. Protecting illegals is a glaring example of a two tiered justice system where illegal foreign nationals get a pass while US citizens get the full force of the law. JMO
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