A great op-ed on immigration by SLC’s police chief

I really wish Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio would take a cue from Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank:

The Salt Lake Tribune via ImmigrationProf Blog

The essential duty of modern law enforcement is to protect the civil rights of individuals while providing for the safety of all members of the communities we serve, equally, without bias. Asking local police agencies to enforce federal immigration laws, as Utah’s new law does, is contrary to our mission, marginalizes significant segments of the population, and complicates and ultimately harms effective community policing. We function best when we are part of, not apart from, the community.

Police officers should not engage in civil immigration enforcement. However, local law enforcement should diligently continue to arrest serious criminal offenders and, as appropriate, refer dangerous criminals to federal authorities. Civil immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, and it is paramount to the well-being of our neighborhoods that the federal government maintains accountability. […]

Today, as we celebrate the birth of our nation, it is important to note that the foundation of our Republic is not based on the rule of the majority. Democracy and those elected to serve must guard against the tyranny of the majority or of mob rule and ensure the well-being of the downtrodden or underrepresented.

For many years, Washington has failed to repair a broken immigration system, and local police officers have been irresponsibly designated to pick up the slack. By increasing our role in civil immigration action, state and local officers are placed in the untenable position of potentially engaging in unconstitutional racial profiling while attempting to maintain trust within the communities we protect.

Though the comments section leaves much to be desired, you can read the piece in its entirety here.


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in human rights, immigration, racial politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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