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Law Enforcement Leaders Implore Congress to Act on Dreamers

Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force   Sign-On Letters

December 14, 2017

 

Dear Member of Congress:

As law enforcement leaders who support commonsense immigration reforms to ensure the protection of our communities, we write to express our support again for a bipartisan legislative solution to allow Dreamers — young people brought to the United States as children — to remain in the United States and continue contributing to our communities and our nation. We believe it is essential for Congress to work across party lines to find a solution to protect these young people, and avoid including diversional issues that detract from this process.

Our support for a legislative solution for Dreamers is consistent with our longstanding support for bipartisan reform of our immigration system. We support measures allowing law-abiding people to feel safe and secure in their communities, which reinforce trust and cooperation with state and local law enforcement.

We are concerned about proposals that would bring the issue of “sanctuary jurisdictions” into this already contentious debate. Because some of those proposals might require state and local law enforcement agencies to engage in additional immigration enforcement activities or penalize jurisdictions that adhere to federal court decisions on immigration detainers, we are concerned that such proposals might prove to be counterproductive. Instead, we would urge Congress to focus on overdue reforms of the broken immigration system — including an expeditious legislative solution for Dreamers — to allow state and local law enforcement to focus their resources on true threats: dangerous criminals and criminal organizations.

We are concerned that, absent action by Congress, the Dreamer population will be driven back into the shadows and will be hesitant to report crimes or cooperate with investigations. Such an outcome would risk undermining community safety. Legislative proposals to require states and local law enforcement to take on additional immigration enforcement responsibilities could similarly undermine community trust, threatening public safety. When Dreamers, and all immigrants, feel safe engaging with local police, all of our communities are safer.

We have seen members of Congress from both sides of the aisle express support for young people who will be affected by the end of DACA, which suggests that there is significant bipartisan support for a legislative solution. These statements are encouraging, suggesting that Congress has the opportunity to move forward constructively on immigration. We have also been encouraged by President Trump’s comments in support of a legislative solution to protect Dreamers. It is our hope that Congress move expeditiously to enact such legislation. In addition, we hope that such bipartisan action on Dreamers can pave the way for additional bipartisan legislation to broadly fix other aspects of our immigration system, including proposals to secure our borders, reform outdated visa programs, and provide otherwise law-abiding immigrants with avenues to achieve earned legalization.

A bipartisan solution to protect Dreamers and keep them in the U.S. will help law enforcement agencies to build community trust and protect public safety. We urge Congress to act quickly and do so without opening an additional contentious debate over sanctuary jurisdictions.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County – LEITF Co-Chair

Chief Tom Manger, Montgomery County – LEITF Co-Chair

Chief Art Acevedo, Houston – LEITF Co-Chair

 

 

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