Cooperation of SCAAP Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States (Redacted)
Audit Report 07-07
Office of the Inspector General
(From a document entitled M.C.C. Immigration Committee Recommendations, June 2006.)
D. M.C.C. NINE (9) POINT POSITION STATEMENT
Based upon a review, evaluation and deliberation regarding the important and complex issue of local enforcement of federal immigration laws, the members of M.C.C., who are the 57 Chief Executive Officers of police departments located within a metropolitan area of more than 1.5 million population and which employs more than 1,000 law enforcement officers, hereby set forth our consensus position statement, which is comprised of nine crucial components.
1) SECURE THE BORDERS
Illegal immigration is a national issue and the federal government should first act to secure the national borders to prevent illegal entry into the United States. We support further and adequate funding of the federal agencies responsible for border security and immigration enforcement so they can accomplish this goal. We also support consideration of all possible solutions including construction of border fences where appropriate, use of surveillance technologies and increases in the number of border patrol agents. Only when the federal government takes the necessary steps to close the revolving door that exists at our national borders will it be possible for local police agencies to even begin to consider dedicating limited local resources to immigration enforcement.
2) ENFORCE LAWS PROHIBITING THE HIRING OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
The federal government and its agencies should vigorously enforce existing immigration laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal immigrants. Enforcement and prosecution of employers who illegally seek out and hire undocumented immigrants or turn a blind eye to the undocumented status of their employees will help to eliminate one of the major incentives for illegal immigration.
3) CONSULT AND INVOLVE LOCAL POLICE AGENCIES IN DECISION MAKING
Major Cities Chiefs and other representatives of the local law enforcement community such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and local district attorneys and prosecutors should be consulted and brought in at the beginning of any process to develop a national initiative to involve local police agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The inclusion of local law enforcement at every level of development would utilize their perspective and experience in local policing, address their concerns and likely result in a better program that would be more effectively implemented.
4) COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY
Any initiative to involve local police agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws should be completely voluntary. The decisions related to how local law enforcement agencies allocate their resources, direct their workforce and define the duties of their employees to best serve and protect their communities should be left in the control of state and local governments. The decision to enter this area of enforcement should be left to the local government and not mandated or forced upon them by the federal government through the threat of sanctions or the withholding of existing police assistance funding.
5) INCENTIVE BASED APPROACH WITH FULL FEDERAL FUNDING
Any initiative to involve local police agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws should be an incentive based approach with full federal funding to provide the necessary resources to the local agencies that choose to enforce immigration laws. Federal funds should be available to participating local agencies to cover the costs associated with enforcement such as expenditures on equipment and technology, training and educational programs and costs of housing, caring for and transporting immigrants prior to their release to federal authorities.
6) NO REDUCTION OR SHIFTING OF CURRENT ASSISTANCE FUNDING
The funding of any initiative to involve local police agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws should not be at the detriment or reduction directly or indirectly of any current federal funding or programs focused on assisting local police agencies with local policing or homeland security activities. Local police agencies are currently working on strained budgets and limited resources to meet local policing needs and strengthening homeland security and in fact need increased funding and grant assistance in these areas. Merely shifting or diverting federal funding currently available for local policing and homeland security activities to any new immigration enforcement initiative would only result in a detrimental net loss of total resources available to local police agencies to police their neighborhoods and strengthen homeland security.
7) CLARIFICATION OF AUTHORITY AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
The authority of local police agencies and their officers to become involved in the enforcement of immigration laws should be clearly stated and defined. The statement of authority should also establish liability protection and an immunity shield for police officers and police agencies that take part in immigration enforcement as authorized by clear federal legislation.
8) REMOVAL OF CIVIL IMMIGRATION DETAINERS FROM THE N.C.I.C. SYSTEM
Until the borders are secured and vigorous enforcement against employers who hire illegal immigrants has taken place and the concerns regarding lack of authority and confusion over the authority of local agencies to enforce immigration laws and the risk of civil liabilities are adequately addressed, M.C.C. strongly requests that the federal agencies cease placing civil immigration detainers on N.C.I.C. and remove any existing civil detainers currently on the system. The integrity of the system as a notice system for criminal warrants and/or criminal matters must be maintained. The inclusion of civil detainers on the system has created confusion for local police agencies and subjected them to possible liability for exceeding their authority by arresting a person upon the basis of a mere civil detainer.
M.C.C. would encourage the federal agencies to seek federal criminal warrants for any person they have charged criminally with violations of immigration laws and submit those criminal warrants on the N.C.I.C. system so the warrants can be acted upon by local police officers within their established criminal enforcement authority and training.
9) COMMITMENT OF CONTINUED ENFORCEMNT AGAINST CRIMINAL VIOLATORS REGARDLESS OF IMMIGRATION STATUS
M.C.C. member agencies are united in their commitment to continue arresting anyone who violates the criminal laws of their jurisdictions regardless of the immigration status of the perpetrator. Those immigrants, documented and/or undocumented, who commit criminal acts will find no safe harbor or sanctuary from their criminal violations of the law within any major city but will instead face the full force of criminal prosecution.
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