What if your Chief of Police says: “No! You’re Wrong”
By Richard Mays Owen, PMP, PhD
I recently attended an event sponsored by the local Tea Party organization that hosted the Chief of Police for a discussion on “sanctuary cities”. The premise was to answer the question…”is our city a sanctuary city, or not?” Nothing had ever been published to confirm either way.
However, numerous concerns put the question on the table. Not the least of which was the publicized change to the police department operations manual stating that police personnel are not responsible for enforcing Federal immigration laws. As such, the officers were prohibited from asking for proof of citizenship when engaging with local residents.
The support for their decision, as stated by the Chief, was a position paper published by the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association. An original copy may be found right here. Item #1 states as follows: “It undermines the trust and cooperation with immigrant communities which are essential elements of community oriented policing.”
As you might imagine, the discussion was lively. As soon as the Chief finished a three-minute overview of the position paper as his explanation for a lack of immigration enforcement, the audience erupted with a disciplined approach to questioning his direction.
The Chief’s evasiveness in responding to questions only added fuel to a fire of concern coming from a well-informed, educated group of citizens with no fear of reprisal and certainly not being intimidated by his uniform. The more he tried to circumvent the challenges to his position, the more the audience attacked it.
The bottom line, to keep this post brief, was that the Chief finally ended with “look, folks, you’re not gonna’ change my mind, and I’m not gonna’ change yours. So, we will just have to agree to disagree”. Actually, the audience was not trying to change his mind, that’s the frustrating part to the meeting. He has no “mind” in the game. All he has done is hide beyond some nationally concocted “position paper” put together by his national union bosses.
There are numerous remedies already in the law that would allow local police to better “protect and serve” the citizens of their assigned territory, work with county and federal officials, and to keep our communities safe. All this without offending, but actually protecting, any non-citizen residents.
Preeminent among those remedies is a Type U Visa from the Department of State. You will find the exact wording and intent of a Type U Visa right here. However, to help you understand, this is the opening paragraph on the Department of Homeland Security website:
“The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. (Emphasis added). The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.”
In other words, this law was passed by Congress in 2000 to specifically address the interaction between local police forces and their residents. If you study the Type U Visa closely, you will see it is not only protection for the non-immigrant individual working with the authorities, it also protects their family members as well. And, one additional encouragement for their cooperation, it is a guaranteed fast track to a Permanent Resident status “green card” at the end of just three years. The next step would be Naturalized Citizen. This is what I would call “assimilation”.
So, why does a police chief of a major metropolitan area refuse to follow the law? Frankly, I can find no excuse for it. The only explanation is from his closing statement of “you’re not gonna’ change my mind” as if his personal feelings on the matter are more important than that of the citizens he has a sworn duty to protect and serve.
The appearance is an individual standing behind the collective socialism of his union rather than doing the right thing on his own. Weak, very weak indeed.
One final note for you to ponder…within 12 hours of his presentation to us, there were two shootings in his jurisdiction. Guess what, neither victim was willing to cooperate with the police. I wonder why?