Giving Illegal Aliens the Police Service They Deserve

By Ronald W. Mortensen on October 29, 2009

When I entered the term "illegal immigration" into Google News yesterday, an interesting array of stories came up. The first was the swan song of outgoing Los Angeles Chief of Police, William J. Bratton titled "The LAPD fights crime, not illegal immigration."

In his article, Chief Bratton extols the virtues of maintaining good relations with the illegal alien community in order to solve crimes. According to the Chief, "Keeping America's neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities. ... Yet every day our effectiveness is diminished because immigrants living and working in our communities are afraid to have any contact with the police."

In Chief Bratton's opinion, illegal aliens are worried that the police will deport them, but in reality it is much more complicated that that. Many illegal aliens arrive in the United States with an inherent distrust of the police due to the corruption that exists in their home countries. Couple that with the fact that most illegal aliens immediately commit multiple felonies in order to get the phony documents they need to get by in the United States and they have even less reason to trust the police.

What's more, the Chief is simply wrong on the facts. However leery of police the illegal immigrants in general might be, they're no more distrustful in places where police use immigration law tools in cooperation federal authorities. As my colleagues Jessica Vaughan and James Edwards write in a new report on the 287(g) program, "There is no evidence whatsoever of a 'chilling effect' on crime reporting in the 287(g) jurisdictions."

Chief Bratton continues: "Criminals are the biggest benefactors when immigrants fear the police."

Actually the Chief would have been more accurate had he said: "Illegal immigrants are the biggest benefactors when the police fear the criminals." The Chief's fear of enforcing all of the laws of the land and his fear of the 287g program makes the streets safer for gang members and for illegal aliens committing job-related felonies – document fraud, perjury on I-9 forms, and identity theft. His policy sends a message that illegal-alien-driven job-related identity theft and other crimes are acceptable and that the police won't interfere with them.

And what is the result of this policy? Well, Los Angeles is a national leader in gang activity. California ranks number two in the nation for overall identity theft. A full 20 percent of all of identity theft in California is (illegal alien) employment-related and Los Angeles is in the top 15 percent of metropolitan areas for identity theft.

Of course, Chief Bratton is doing this for the children because, "We all have an interest in helping our young people develop into healthy, educated and law-abiding adults. Breeding fear and distrust of authority among some of our children could increase rates of crime, violence and disorder as those children grow up to become fearful and distrustful adolescents and adults."

Law enforcement officials who turn a blind eye to illegal-alien teenagers using fraudulent documents and stolen identities in order to get jobs at McDonald's, who refuse to turn teenagers over to immigration authorities when they are arrested for dealing drugs, and who allow illegal aliens to drive without a license or auto insurance are sending young people the message that criminal activity is acceptable. Therefore, rather than helping kids, Chief Bratton does them a great disservice by demeaning and weakening their respect for the rule of law. In fact, he may actually be encouraging them to commit crimes.

And what is the solution that Chief Bratton proposes to illegal alien driven crime? Why, amnesty of course, under the guise of "comprehensive immigration reform." "The Police Foundation published a report April titled 'The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties.' The report concluded that to optimize public safety, the federal government must enact comprehensive immigration reform."

By supporting comprehensive immigration reform, the Police Foundation supports giving millions of illegal aliens amnesty from the job-related and other serious felonies they commit. After all, it is easier to reward them for their criminal activities than to convict them of their crimes.

In Chief Bratton's world, it is illegal aliens, not American citizens, who deserve police protection. According to the Chief, "We must pass immigration reform and bring our neighbors out of the shadows so they get the police service they need and deserve."

Of course, while the criminal illegal aliens are getting the amnesty and police service that the Chief believes they need and deserve, he would deny the millions of American men, women, and children who have had their good names ruined by illegal-alien identity thieves the justice and police service that they deserve.

Chief Bratton, the Police Foundation, and law enforcement officials across the country who place the interests of the millions of criminal illegal aliens ahead of the safety and well-being of American men, women, and children dishonor their oath of office and the uniform that they wear. Rather than ignoring crimes committed by illegal aliens and pushing for amnesty, law enforcement officials should set the example for all Americans by upholding and safeguarding the rule of law.