My head hurts—again!
On a recent news analysis program, a local politician, I think from upstate New York (doesn’t matter; it’s a cookie-cutter, leftist trope), repeated the threadbare, Democrat talking point that illegal immigrants won’t report crimes to police if they’re afraid of being deported. That may be true, but the issue deserves critical thinking to better understand it.
This politician cited there are “many examples of illegals not reporting crime due to fear of deportation” but listed none. He also said where jurisdictions have a policy of not assisting the federal government with enforcing immigration law, crime goes down. REALLY? WHERE? Certainly, not in sanctuary city Chicago. Again, he mentioned no examples—not one.
Is he arguing, where the law goes unenforced, crime goes down? Well, having completed a career in law enforcement, I must ask, why do we have any laws? By his logic, get rid of all the laws, and there will be no crime. You know, when I think about it, there is a sick logic here. If murder is not illegal, police won’t be arresting any murderers. This could extend to all crimes, right? Legalize EVERYTHING!
As much as I scoff at this notion, mostly because it’s so scoff-worthy, there is merit to the argument that people in the country illegally will resist reporting crime. However, this is a waste of fear for illegals. Otherwise law-abiding, border trespassers have no idea just how safe they are from their local constabulary. Forget the municipal edicts, such as in Seattle, where cops are prohibited from even asking a person about their immigration status. When cops take reports from crime victims, they are interested in the crime, the criminal, and the apprehending of that criminal for that crime.
In my over two decades on the streets I can’t recall even once asking a victim, or a suspect for that matter, about their immigration status. It never came up. In fact, to those who exhibit, through words or actions, obvious anxiety about their immigration status, cops are much more likely to say, “Don’t worry; we’re not here for that.” Then officers investigate the crime as they investigate any other reported crime.
Again, those who’ve entered the USA illegally might be hesitant to report crime due to their illegal immigration status. Proponents of this argument have a point. I mean, people wanted for other crimes, murder, bank robbery, rape, assault, fraud, and theft aren’t too interested in reporting crime for the same reason. Okay, entering the country illegally is not a felony, not even a misdemeanor, just a civil infraction (which blows my mind, by the way. Just driving a car with an altered temporary trip permit is a gross misdemeanor, but I digress). So, let’s stay within the civil infraction realm: People with outstanding arrest warrants for failure to respond to civil infractions—traffic tickets, etc.—also might not want to report crimes, either. Right?
And stop with the berating a criminal justice system that would separate a parent who crossed the border illegally (a violation of federal law) from an American-born child. It happens everyday. Do you think crimes are committed only by childless people? Of course not. Many criminals have children and we don’t see marching in the streets because the mother who wrote fraudulent checks is being “separated” from her children, having been sentenced to eighteen months in prison. What about the dad who was convicted of burglary and will be separated from his children for three years. Guess he should have thought about that, eh? Again, it happens all the time.
I understand there are nuances here because the crime is considered a minor one. But there’s another part of the problem. Can anyone imagine attempting illegally to cross the border of Russia, China, or even Mexico and not believing you’d be in a great deal of trouble if caught? I can’t. Why should our country be any different. Just because everyone wants to come here. Well, no kidding. But what makes our country so attractive will gradually dissipate if our borders are left wide open. Why is this not common sense? How nice would your house be to live in if you allowed anyone who wanted to (because you have a warm and inviting home) to move in? Not very, comes to mind.
Let’s use common sense and give our cops a break. I can understand the resistance to the federal government inserting itself into local affairs–they do it too often, and often at the request of the left. But, that’s just it; immigration is not a local affair. United States immigration policy and control is primarily a federal responsibility.