In an open letter to law enforcement leaders, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked sheriffs in California to cease harmful practices that target illegal alien communities.
The letter comes at a time when California is burdened with nearly $30 billion budget deficits and a new Rasmussen Poll that states 67 percent of Americans want states to tackle the illegal alien problem plaguing the country.
The ACLU contends apprehending illegal aliens costs local agencies money they no longer have to combat those residing in California unlawfully.
“Most law enforcement officers do not want to double as federal immigration agents. They know that it discourages witnesses and victims of crime from coming forward and ultimately harms public safety for everyone,” said report co-author and ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) Staff Attorney Julia Harumi Mass. “We want to partner with law enforcement agencies and share what we have learned: that sheriffs and police chiefs across California can adopt practices that protect everyone and make wise use of taxpayer dollars.”
However the ACLU report and letter fail to acknowledge that a study by Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) illustrated California spends roughly $20 billion a year in services for illegal aliens in the Golden State.
Illegal immigration activists point out that if local, state and federal law enforcement did their job and enforced the nation’s immigration laws there would be more money for departments who are committed to keeping the peace.
The ACLU, however, sees things much differently.
“The federal government is not playing fair with local police and sheriffs. Most don’t want to engage in the dirty work of immigration enforcement or take on its steep costs,” report author Amalia Greenberg Delgado explained. “At a time of shrinking police departments’ staff and budgets, we hope California’s law enforcement leadership will review unnecessarily costly practices and rebuild trust with communities.”
The ACLU report went on to stipulate that “the legal framework for current police practices in immigrant communities – from vehicle checkpoints and impoundments to prolonged detention of immigrants in local jails, among others (was a harsh reality).” The report details the financial and human costs of these practices, including personal stories.
Rule of Law cities in California cite the safety issues that come along with those driving without drivers’ licenses or car insurance. The Escondido Police Department is one of those cities who perform various and random check points (of all residents) in an effort to curtail their unusually high number of car accidents. “It works,” says Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher.