Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces that Chicago police will not in most cases assist federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.
Behind the disputes in Illinois is a federal program called Secure Communities, under which local police and jail authorities share fingerprints with federal immigration agents of everyone they book. The Obama administration has rapidly expanded the program across the country, with Illinois being one of only two states — the other is Alabama — where it has not been put into effect.
Many immigrant organizations have bitterly resisted the program, saying it erodes trust between their communities and the local police. A coalition of groups on Tuesday announced a national campaign to try to persuade more localities to ban or restrict the program.
Mr. Emanuel did not pose his initiative as a challenge to Mr. Obama. Rather he laid blame on Congress for inaction on immigration. The City Council will consider the ordinance this month.
Mr. Emanuel and police officials have been under fire for a gang problem in Chicago, withhomicides up 39 percent from a year ago. The mayor said the proposed ordinance would encourage some immigrants to help the police without fear of being deported. “If you’re a good citizen, immigration status is not a pause button for you to call the police department,” he said.
We're talking here about arrested illegals. These are not "good citizens" (or even, hem, good non-citizens). They have come within the ambit of law enforcement by violating some law: drunk driving for example. It's then and only then that police run the check to see whether the arrested person might have violated other laws too. It's a lot more efficient way to proceed than waiting until after the arrested person has macheted somebody to death. As the Center for Immigration Studies points out:
Immigrant gang members rarely make a living as gangsters. They typically work by day in construction, auto repair, farming, landscaping and other low-skill occupations, often using false documents.
As with New York City's gun checks at traffic stops in the 1990s, immigration status checks upon arrest enable law enforcement to change the environment that supports widespread criminality. CIS again:
A very large share of immigrant gang members are illegal aliens and removable aliens. Federal sources estimate that 60 to 90 percent of the members of MS-13, the most notorious immigrant gang, are illegal aliens. In one jurisdiction studied, Northern Virginia, 30 to 40 percent of the gang task force case load were removable aliens.
It's not rocket science.
Stricter enforcement = fewer illegals.
Fewer illegals = less gang violence.