Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Law Enforcement and Illegal Aliens

A CSM editorial today praises work done to eliminate the wall, which they refer to as "old and needless", between law enforcement and immigration control. I can't say that I entirely agree with their sentiment. There is a reason for the wall, and not as CSM suggests, in order to prevent racial profiling. There are millions of illegal immigrants in the US, many of them living in relatively concentrated areas. Whether they should be here and how we should deal with them from an immigration standpoint is a good question, the answer to which we haven't quite figured out yet. But the point is they are here. Bringing local police into the immigration enforcement business means that none of these illegal immigrants will go to the police for help. And it's not secret that crime and exploitation flourish in situations where there no legal means to address them. This move will create communities rife with lawlessness, havens for criminals, sweatshops, drug traffickers, and possibly even terrorists. In my opinion local law enforcement should have an open door for illegal immigrants, no questions asked, so that they don't get shut out from these communities. Let the feds deal with immigration. If at some later date we are able to substantially reduce the number of illegals in the US, the wall may not need to exist, but while illegal aliens number somewhere over 10 million, for our own sake and theirs, we can't afford to cut them all off from the protection of law enforcement.

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