Click here for a recording of today’s call.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Local law enforcement leaders today criticized President Trump’s executive order on interior immigration enforcement for the ways it harms local policing.
These members of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force argued that these executive actions, including its provisions regarding so-called sanctuary cities, undermine community trust in their jurisdictions.
The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:
Sheriff Mark Curran, Lake County, Illinois:
“Community policing is based on having relationships with people that live in those minority communities. The political and moral reality is that there are a lot of people that are undocumented in these ‘sanctuary cities.’”
Police Chief Chris Magnus, Tucson, Arizona:
“We have worked very hard to build very strong, positive relationships between all of our residents, regardless of immigration status, and the police department. We really feel that when we have immigrants or immigrant families who live in fear of deportation, they’re going to be less likely to report crimes or even come forward as witnesses to crimes and work with us to assist in investigations. As a police chief and as a law enforcement officer, it makes our jobs really difficult because this undermines safe communities, and it can allow criminal activities to flourish.”
Police Chief Tom Manger, Montgomery County, Maryland:
“We believe local law enforcement should be working with federal law enforcement authorities, but we don’t believe we should be doing their job for them. We have enough to do, responding to tens of thousands of 911 calls, and we’re not looking to take on an unfunded mandate of taking on immigration. Immigration enforcement always has been and should be a federal responsibility. We are not trying to turn our backs on our federal law enforcement partners. We can work with them and assist them as they do their jobs. We cannot do their jobs for them.”
Police Chief Mike Tupper, Marshalltown, Iowa:
“We’re not trying to protect criminals. We’re not trying to keep violent offenders that shouldn’t be here in our community. We want to hold those people accountable. But when we start implementing blanket policies, it’s not going to make my community safer. … This is not going to help us build the relationships in our community that most people expect us to have.”
Cathleen Farrell, Director of Communications, National Immigration Forum:
“The primary mission of these law enforcement leaders is to protect our cities, counties and towns. They should be focusing their resources on combating actual threats to community safety, rather than acting as federal agents and targeting residents living and working peacefully in their jurisdictions.”