Police: Immigration policies making it harder to catch criminals

Want to catch a criminal?  You have to want to catch them and when caught, turned over to the proper authorities—not to hack politicians protecting criminals from foreign countries.  Now we find that the police have been weaponized in the cause of allowing criminals back on the streets.

“About 40 percent of the 232 law enforcement officials who responded to a recent national survey said they believe that federal immigration policies had affected their relationships with immigrant communities in 2017 compared to 2016, and 71 percent said because immigrants face barriers to engaging with law enforcement, officers were less able to hold criminals accountable.

A majority also said it had become harder to investigate cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking involving immigrant victims.”

Wow!  Imagine, enforcing our immigration laws is a bad thing, because criminals from foreign countries might not talk to them.  Ask the family of football player Edwin Jackson, killed by an illegal alien who has been deported twice.  Seriously we are counting on people who lie for honest reports on crimes?  It is time to get rid of the criminals, not worry about lying reporting crimes.

ICE-Immigration-Agents

Police: Immigration policies making it harder to catch criminals

By Bernice Yeung, Reveal,  2/5/18

Local police officers say current federal immigration policies are making it harder to fight crime in immigrant communities, according to a new survey.

About 40 percent of the 232 law enforcement officials who responded to a recent national survey said they believe that federal immigration policies had affected their relationships with immigrant communities in 2017 compared to 2016, and 71 percent said because immigrants face barriers to engaging with law enforcement, officers were less able to hold criminals accountable.

A majority also said it had become harder to investigate cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking involving immigrant victims.

About 20 percent of the officers said they believed immigrant victims in their communities were less likely to report or assist in the investigations of violent crimes than before. Among the top reasons for not cooperating: They were worried they’d be deported or the perpetrator would retaliate against them.

“With increased immigration enforcement, what we see in the data is that threats of deportation and fear of deportation is a very, very powerful tool used by perpetrators against immigrant victims,” said Leslye Orloff, a professor with American University Washington College of Law and the lead researcher of the study. “Increased enforcement strengthens the hands of perpetrators whether that’s intended or not.”

The initial results of the survey were provided to Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting by American University’s National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project. It is drawn from a larger study about how immigrant victims engage with the justice system that will be published this spring.

The data was collected in fall 2017 in response to changes in policies and increased immigration enforcement. “This helps us understand what is happening on the ground so that we can respond in a way that connects immigrant crime victims with the immigration protections that they are entitled to by law,” said Orloff, who helped draft the federal Violence Against Women Act.

Immigrant victims of violent crime are protected from deportation if they assist the government with investigations or prosecutions. However, immigrants and some law enforcement are not universally aware of these protections.

In the American University survey, more than half of the officers said they did not know if their police or sheriff’s department certified special visas for immigrant crime victims.

“This is a call to action that departments need policies and protocols so that law enforcement is aware of this important crime-fighting tool,” Orloff said. “We can’t fight crime without victims coming forward.”

Since President Donald Trump took office, immigration arrests at courthouses, homes and workplaces have stoked the anxieties of people unauthorized to be in the country.

Perhaps most famously, a woman seeking a protective order against an abusive boyfriend was arrested in a Texas courthouse by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A recently issued ICE memo formalized this practice of enforcement at courthouses, which has generated deep misgivings within immigrant communities.

The memo also limits who can be detained at courthouses. Specifically, it directs ICE agents to avoid arrests in places dedicated to non-criminal matters, such as people who have gone to court seeking domestic violence restraining orders or for child custody.

Brendan Raedy, a spokesperson for ICE, said in a statement that the agency has a number of initiatives and directives in place “intended to minimize the effect that immigration enforcement may have on the willingness and ability of victims and witnesses to call the police to report crimes or protect their safety.”

“ICE has long recognized the importance of victims and witnesses and the role they play in successful investigations and prosecutions,” Raedy wrote in a statement.

Michael LaRiviere, an investigator with the Salem Police Department in Massachusetts, trains law enforcement across the country on how to work with immigrant victims, and he said that although federal policies and media reports may affect how immigrants perceive local law enforcement, it has not affected how many officers approach policing.

While some police departments cooperate with immigration authorities, LaRiviere said most officers he comes across in his training sessions aren’t focused on a victim’s status.

“We’re not out there banging down doors and trying to find undocumented people,” said LaRiviere, who co-authored a forthcoming article for Police Chief magazine based on American University’s data. “We are trying to keep the community safe.”

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.