Law Enforcement Leaders Meet with Vice President Biden on Immigration Reform

Assistant Director of Communications

July 19, 2013

Law Enforcement Leaders Meet with Vice President Biden on Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the path forward on immigration reform dominating headlines nationwide, law enforcement leaders met today with Vice President Joe Biden to reaffirm their support for commonsense reform that respects the rule of law and offers a roadmap to earned citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans.

As they have done throughout the immigration debate, law enforcement leaders stressed that the way to secure our borders and make our communities even safer is to pass broad reform that addresses all parts of our broken immigration system and encourages legal immigration.

“Immigration reform is one of the top issues facing the nation,” said Mark Curran, Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois. “What is most important to our future is re-establishing a rule of law, bringing integrity to a broken system, and once again establishing moral and humane principles in our dealings with immigrants.”

In the closed-door meeting, law enforcement representatives highlighted not only the national imperative for reform, but the immediate support immigration reform would give to local police departments that now struggle to enforce immigration laws — a federal responsibility.

“We need a national solution, not the existing patchwork in which different cities and states set their own policies about federal laws. We have 11 million undocumented immigrants living a shadow existence, afraid of reporting crime, fearful of being stopped by the police or having any contact with local police,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “As a result, they become easy targets for criminals, and police are unable to develop productive relationships with all elements of their communities. Therefore, police chiefs support efforts in Washington to fix the immigration system, so the police can go about their business of working with everyone in their communities to reduce crime.”

“As legislative action continues to move forward and policies are put in place that clearly define enforcement as a primary federal responsibility, it is vitally important that the role of state, local and tribal law enforcement be ensuring the safety of our nation’s communities and motorists,” added James McMahon, Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Staff of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

After the meeting, Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, highlighted the critical role that law enforcement leaders have played — and will continue to play — in the immigration reform battle.

“The law enforcement community has championed commonsense immigration reform from day one and is committed to seeing it pass through the House,” Noorani said. “These leaders know that immigration reform is a fundamental step forward in helping build relationships of trust between immigrants and law enforcement officers — a necessity for public safety in the 21st century.”