Police Chief William Bratton Describes the Dangers of an Arizona-style Law for Community Safety

In today’s Omaha World Herald, former Los Angeles police chief and former New York City police commissioner William Bratton outlines the perils of requiring local police to serve as immigration agents:  “Keeping America’s neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities. My nearly 40 years in law enforcement…have taught me this.”

Bratton explains, “Officers can’t prevent or solve crimes if victims or witnesses are unwilling to talk to them because of the fear of being deported…Criminals are the biggest benefactors when immigrants fear the police.” He goes on to address the Arizona-style proposal facing Nebraska legislators, saying, “Americans want a national solution to our immigration dilemma, as do law enforcement officials across this nation. But the solution isn’t turning every local police department into an arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, nor is it a state initiative like Legislative Bill 48 in Nebraska, which would duplicate many aspects of the comprehensive Arizona immigration laws.”

He notes that a 2009 Police Foundation report “concluded that to optimize public safety, the federal government must enact comprehensive immigration reform. I agree.”

Read the full Opinion Editorial in the World Herald: “William Bratton: Immigration reform vital to community safety, trust”

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