A New York Times editorial cites a study led by Nik Theodore, professor of urban planning and policy and GCI Fellow, that found that some Latinos are reluctant to report crimes to the police for fear of exposing their undocumented status.
Should the local police and sheriff’s deputies be doing more to help the federal government enforce civil immigration laws? For years the disturbing answer from the Obama administration and hard-line states like Arizona has been: absolutely. Each has tried in its own way to expand the role of local law enforcement in catching unauthorized immigrants and feeding the deportation pipeline.
But states and cities are rejecting the blurring of a once-bright line that separated local cops and federal immigration agents. They recognize that a broken immigration system has stranded many people outside the law, but know that many have lived here for years, with clean records and citizen children, and would be on track to become Americans if the legislation now stalled in Congress ever passes. Deporting millions of harmless people — current taxpayers, future citizens — is a misguided mission for the nation. For the local police, it’s a costly and dangerous diversion from their main job: preventing crime and catching criminals.