FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How Immigration Enforcement is Weakening National Security

When local police officers collaborate with immigration law enforcement, communities are not made safer. Tensions between police officers and community members increase, as does the distrust people feel towards law enforcement.

Unfortunately, Section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows local law enforcement officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, is being adopted in communities across the country. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security describes 287(g) on their webpage.

ICE officials argue that collaboration between local and immigration law enforcement is important because it gives police officers “necessary resources and latitude to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering.” In theory, inter-agency collaboration could enhance national security. In practice, the adoption of 287 (g) decreases local-level security.

287 (g) gives police officers the authority to call immigration agents to find out if any person they encounter is undocumented. This means that people who are undocumented or whose loved ones are undocumented will be less likely to call the police to report crimes, even when they are the victims. Because of the heavy policing of Latino neighborhoods, 287(g) could even lead to people being scared to take their children to the hospital.

When I lived in a primarily Latino community in Chicago, Little Village, one of my neighbors recounted to me what happened when her daughter fell off of a piece of playground equipment. The girl came home crying that she was hurt, and my neighbor rushed her nine-year old daughter to the hospital. Doctors put a cast on the girl’s arm, and eventually she healed. Because of this incident, a police officer came to question the mother to find out if there was a case of child abuse in the home. The officer determined that there was not, and that was the end of the investigation.

My neighbor remembered this vividly, and it was well-known in this neighborhood that when any accident happens, police can get involved. In another case, my other neighbor came home from drinking with friends a bit tipsy and injured his arm when he fell on the wire gate. Police officers subsequently interviewed his wife to find out if there had been any domestic violence.

Both my neighbor who took her daughter to the hospital and my neighbor whose husband injured his arm are undocumented. If Chicago police were to co-operate with immigration law enforcement agents, people in immigrant communities may think twice about calling an ambulance or taking their loved ones to the hospital if an injury were to take place.

Another important issue is domestic violence. A young man I interviewed in Guatemala, Cedric, was deported because his wife, a US citizen, and the mother of their two children, called the police when they got into a shouting match. She did not know that the police would check his immigration status. Had she known, she likely would not have called the police. In their case, the charge of domestic violence appears to be false; the wife rescinded the charges. However, it is likely that other women who are victims of serious domestic violence may be disinclined to call the police if they know their partners will be deported.

287(g) allows police officers to notify immigration agents whenever they encounter a person they suspect to be undocumented. One deportee in Guatemala recounted to me that a Florida police officer called immigration agents when he was involved in a minor car accident in a parking lot. That phone call led to his deportation, despite the fact that he is married to a US citizen and has US citizen children. It is easy to imagine that 287(g) will lead to more hit and runs, as undocumented migrants involved in car accidents will fear that any encounter with a police officer could lead to their deportation.

287(g) does not lead to safer communities; to the contrary, it decreases community-level security and heightens tensions between law enforcement and community members.

This program continues to expand, creating fear in immigrant communities, and leading to the deportation of long-term residents of the United States, many of whom have spouses and children who are US citizens. This does not enhance national security; it weakens it.

TANYA GOLASH-BOZA is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and American Studies at the University of Kansas, author of the forthcoming book: “Immigration Nation?” and blogs at http://tanyagolashboza.blogspot.com/. She can be reached at: tanyaboza@gmail.com.

 

 

More articles by:

Tanya Golash-Boza is the author of: Yo Soy Negro Blackness in PeruImmigration Nation: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-9/11 Americaand Due Process Denied: Detentions and Deportations in the United States. Her new book Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism will be published by NYU Press in 2015.

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail