Friday, October 23, 2009
Sacramento Police Chief: It's time to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants who are productive, law-abiding citizens - the public's safety depends on it
With changes earlier this week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on the reporting of suspected undocumented youths upon arrests for felonies, local police treatment of immigrants has been in the news. Now, the police chief of Sacramento, CA is making a bold proposal. Steve Magagnini and Susan Ferris of the Sacramento Bee report that, according to none other than Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, "It's time to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants who are productive, law-abiding citizens - the public's safety depends on it," Braziel has 30 years of law enforcement experience and expressed concern that crimes are going unsolved because undocumented witnesses are afraid to testify for fear of being deported. More generally, immigrant communities are more likely to report crime to police, testify at trial, and generally cooperate with local law enforcement if local law enforcement is not seen as part of immigration enforcement.
Sacramento police do not routinely check immigration status in traffic stops.
Braziel made his call for immigration reform as part of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative, an organization founded by former Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas Jr. to give police a voice in the immigration debate.
Hattip to Pamela Wu!