Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force

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Over 40 Law Enforcement Leaders Call for Adequate Care for Children in Detention

Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force   Sign-On Letters

Dear President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Acting Secretary McAleenan:

As law enforcement leaders dedicated to preserving the safety and security of our communities, we write to express our concern about the reports of possible unacceptable conditions for children in the custody of the federal government.

We are members of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF), a group of police chiefs, sheriffs, and other law enforcement leaders from around the country committed to promoting safe communities and respect for the rule of law, who support broad immigration reform.

We appreciate the service that DHS frontline personnel are providing to the nation and recognize that they are facing a challenging situation with a surge of families and children crossing the border. We also recognize that our current immigration system is broken. It is our hope that with the additional funding recently authorized by Congress, migrant children will be provided the appropriate care; and if they are not, those federal contractors and employees responsible should be held accountable. Law enforcement officers lose legitimacy when we are called upon to enforce standards of care that even our government agencies cannot meet.

Recognizing that trust and legitimacy are central components of effective policing, we urge the Trump Administration to 1) minimize the detention of children and use effective alternatives to detention except when an individual presents a threat to public safety, and 2) invest in the trained personnel and facilities necessary to process and properly care for children and their families. As a trauma-informed approach, we urge that rather than detaining children at taxpayer expense, thoroughly vetted minors should be released to sponsoring relatives and friends throughout the U.S., or properly vetted local churches and non-profit organizations. We urge that facilities that hold children should meet all established state and federal standards for the care of children, and include safe and clean conditions with adequate educational and recreational opportunities.

We share your commitment to an approach to immigration that prioritizes legality and accountability, restores respect for the rule of law, and creates safe communities. We stand ready to help in these necessary reforms, and submit that the recommendations urged here reflect a solid step towards this commitment.

Sincerely,

Sheriff Margaret Mims, LEITF Co-Chair
Fresno County, CA

Chief Art Acevedo, LEITF Co-Chair
Houston, TX

Chief Carmen Best, LEITF Co-Chair
Seattle, WA

Executive Director Dwayne Crawford
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)

Lt. Andy Norris, Retired
Tuscaloosa, AL

Chief Chris Magnus
Tucson, AZ

Chief Steve Stahl
Maricopa, AZ

Chief David Valentin
Santa Ana, CA

Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Pitkin County, CO

Sheriff Joe Pelle
Boulder County, CO

Chief Jorge Colina
Miami, FL

Chief Orlando Rolon
Orlando, FL

Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald
Story County, IA

Chief Wayne Jerman
Cedar Rapids, IA

Director of Public Safety Mark Prosser
Storm Lake, IA

Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek
Johnson County, IA

Chief Mike Tupper
Marshalltown, IA

Chief William Bones
Boise, ID

Chief Craig Kingsbury
Twin Falls, ID

Sheriff John Idleburg
Lake County, IL

Chief Michael Diekhoff
Bloomington, IN

Chief Scott Ruszkowski
South Bend, IN

Chief Ron Teachman, Retired
South Bend, IN

Chief James Hawkins, Retired
Garden City, KS

Deputy Chief Jose H. Salcido
Wichita, KS

Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Cambridge, MA

Chief David Fallon
Somerville, MA

Chief Brian Kyes
Chelsea, MA

Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County, MI

Chief Ron Haddad
Dearborn, MI

Chief Christopher C. Blue
Chapel Hill, NC

Chief Richard Biehl
Dayton, OH

Chief Cel Rivera
Lorain, OH

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare
Providence, RI

Chief Fred Fletcher, Retired
Chattanooga, TN

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
Harris County, TX

Chief Claudio Treviño, Jr.
Laredo, TX

Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Retired
Dallas County, TX

Chief Mike Brown
Salt Lake City, UT

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne
Alexandria, VA

Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht
King County, WA

Sheriff David J. Mahoney
Dan County, WI

 

*Signatures updated as of August 8, 3 pm ET*

 

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