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The Impact Of Law Enforcement Tactics On Us

1934 words - 8 pages

The current violence and drug traffic in Mexico presents a twofold problem in regards to domestic law enforcement in the United States. Not only are US law enforcement authorities required to combat the massive influx of illicit drugs from Mexico, they are also expected to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, many fleeing the dire circumstances in their home country, and also to quell fears of cartel violence spilling over our largely unsecured southern border. This has led to a fundamental shift in domestic the law enforcement tactics in the United States as well as an increased US law enforcement presence in Mexico itself. Local and State law ...view middle of the document...

Estimates indicate that, in 2009, there were somewhere in the area of 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States along with 3 million children born to unauthorized parents. With such a significant percentage of the total United States population comprised of individuals who are not legally authorized to be in the country, it is imperative that all levels of US law enforcement adjust their tactics and work in conjunction and cooperation in order to effectively address the problem.
Section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, ((287(g)), was enacted in the mid-1990s as a part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The act intended to expand cooperation and resources between the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and various interior agencies. 287 (g) partnerships, as of 2008, have been signed between Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 62 various local law enforcement agencies. The 287 (g) partnerships provide training in immigration law and databases, the verification of immigration documents, and identification of potential unauthorized immigrants to local law enforcement officers. These officers can then return to their routine duties but also enforce immigration law under the auspices of a supervisory ICE agent. In addition to training patrol officers to enforce immigration law in a proactive manner, 287 (g) programs also train corrections officers in the proper methods of checking immigration status of newly admitted inmates. Between 2006 and 2010, nearly 110,000 individuals have been removed from the United States as a result of the investigations of local and state law enforcement personnel as a result of 287 (g).
While federal/local cooperatives like the 287 (g) program seem like an efficient method to maximize return on investment in regards to immigration enforcement, critics point to numerous potential flaws. First, in order for the program to be successful, there needs to be solid local support for the program. Second, leaders in immigrant communities often support local enforcement of immigration law when it involves violent crime but are sometimes reluctant to cooperate if residents are being targeted for simple immigration violations. Next, some local community leaders worry that programs such as 287 (g) amount to little more than money transfers from local jurisdictions to the federal government. Finally, some leaders in immigrant communities complain that immigration raids and enforcement leads to community fear and hardships for families broken up by the enforcement of established immigration law.
As can be seen, the criticisms of allowing local and state law enforcement to enforce and investigate federal law are a unique issue for departments whose traditional responsibilities centered on the enforcement of local statutory law. It is yet to be known whether or not this evolution of the role of local law enforcement will have a net gain or net...

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