Bowing down to pressure from advocacy groups such as the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and the Pennsylvania ACLU new rules went into effect last week limiting how the Pennsylvania State Police interact with those suspected of being in the U.S. illegally and its cooperation with ICE. Some states have partnership agreements with ICE. Pennsylvania does not.
The new Pennsylvania State Police policy states that warrants for immigration violations are not grounds for stops or detentions because they do not constitute reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Yes, you read that correctly. According to Pennsylvania State Police brass being in the U.S. illegally is not grounds for detention because it does not constitute “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.” I received a speeding ticket in Pennsylvania about 6 years ago. I guess my defense should have been that traveling 85 MPH in a 65 MPH zone did not constitute “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity”. I wonder if that defense would have worked.
Under the new rules Troopers cannot ask for identification (such as in the case of a traffic stop) to see if the person they are interacting with is in the country illegally and they cannot detain anyone even if they are aware the person is in the country illegally. Pennsylvania State Troopers can still contact ICE if they suspect someone is in the country illegally but only after the person has been allowed to go. They cannot detain the person.
Yes, you read that correctly too. If someone is in the country illegally Pennsylvania State Troopers must let the suspect go then contact ICE. What a waste of resources. ICE must hunt for the person when the Pennsylvania State Police have verified the person has broken the law and let them go.
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf called for stronger rules after an investigation by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer found that state police were acting as an informal arm of ICE. On Friday, Wolf commended the new policy because it “provides clear direction for state troopers.”
If I can translate the Governor of Pennsylvania has taken issue with Pennsylvania State Police assisting federal law enforcement in enforcing federal law.
We cannot restrict law enforcement’s efforts to cooperate with ICE in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. There were approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2016. We cannot allow open borders and we cannot allow immigrants to come to America without vetting. In Europe with it’s open borders the years 2014 to 2016 saw more than 20 fatal terrorist attacks – more than all previous years combined and the highest rate of attack plots per year. In 2017 a total of 62 people were killed in ten completed terror attacks in Europe and an additional 33 plots were thwarted.
In a late 2018 5 day ICE operation in New Jersey ICE officers arrested 105 illegal immigrants. Of those about 80% of them had prior criminal convictions and several are wanted by Interpol for crimes in their home countries. The criminal records of those arrested include international warrants and convictions for indecent acts by compulsion causing bodily injury, distribution of psychotropic drugs, fraud, forcible touching of a child, distribution of narcotics, prostitution with a child, endangering the welfare of a child, distribution of narcotics on school grounds, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, possession and distribution of narcotics, bank fraud, criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit robbery and suspicion of being a member of a street gang.
For reasons of security, safety and economics we need to stop limiting law enforcement officers from enforcing the law. If you or I were suspected of a federal crime we would be detained by law enforcement. There is no reason why being in the U.S. illegally should be treated any differently.
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