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Blog Post: Q&A with Chief Chito Walker (Charleston, SC)

After serving as interim chief, Chito Walker was appointed Chief of Police for Charleston, South Carolina in November 2023. He is not only the Chief of Police but a longstanding member of the Charleston community, having been a part of the Charleston PD since starting his career in law enforcement. Although Charleston looks very different […]

May 31

Blog Post: Q&A with Chief Geoffrey Farr (Blue Island, IL)

In the face of officer shortages throughout the state of Illinois, the state Legislature passed a law in July 2023 allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to become police officers. House Bill 3571 took effect Jan. 1, permitting police departments to hire noncitizens who are legally authorized to work. Chief Geoffrey Farr of […]

Apr 02

Blog Post: Q&A with Chief Thomas Thompson

Q&A with Chief Thomas Thompson (Dayton, OH) – Sinclair Community College Chief Tom Thompson began his law enforcement career in 1995 as a patrol officer with the Miamisburg Police Department in Ohio. In 2022, Thompson became Chief of Police of the Sinclair Community College Public Safety Department. He is the founder and Executive Director of […]

Feb 12

Blog Post: Chief of Police Ruben Quesada (Swampscott, MA) Reflects on The Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force Meeting as Part of The Leading the Way Conference in Houston

What did you enjoy most about attending Leading the Way in Houston this year? What is your biggest takeaway?  I truly enjoyed making connections with individuals from a broad spectrum of expertise and professions. It is an opportunity to discuss the challenges we face as a nation as it revolves around immigration reform, pathways to […]

Jan 22

Blog Post: Open Channels of Collaboration Between Local Law Enforcement Agencies and The Federal Government

On October 13, members of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met in San Diego, CA. The LEITF aims to create a channel of communication between local law enforcement agencies and the federal government to work on shared issues related to reforming our county’s broken and outdated […]

Dec 15

Blog Post: Storm Lake’s Roadmap for Inclusion and Equity 

Located in northwest Iowa, the small city of Storm Lake boasts one of Iowa’s most ethnically diverse communities. The Storm Lake Police Department recently shared their success story of implementing inclusion programs in their community to increase trust in law enforcement and community. While Iowa may not be the most diverse state in the country, […]

Nov 06

Blog: Cartels, Human Smuggling, and Unlawful Immigration – Featuring Chief Ramon Batista (Santa Monica, CA)

Before the 1990s, drug trafficking and human smuggling were two separate forms of transnational criminal activity. Human smuggling was a business that operated on a smaller scale, run by local families living along the border. Whereas drug trafficking has always been a large-scale business. But since then, many administrative and legislative initiatives have been implemented, […]

Oct 31

Blog Post: Cartels Exploiting Young Americans and Migrants

Chad Kasmar is the Chief of Police in Tucson, AZ, and a co-chair of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force. He shared with us one of the biggest concerns he deals with at the intersection of local law enforcement and immigration: the exploitation activities of cartels. In recent years, news outlets have increasingly reported on […]

Oct 03

Congressional Testimony of Ramon Batista Chief of Police, Santa Monica (California)

Congressional Testimony of Ramon Batista Chief of Police Santa Monica (California) Police Department Hearing on “The Consequences of Criminal Aliens on U.S. Communities” Before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. July 13, 2023 Chair McClintock, Ranking Member Jayapal, and other distinguished members of […]

Jul 13

Blog Post: Immigrants are not to Blame for America’s Fentanyl Crisis

Americans have become increasingly concerned over the growing fentanyl crisis. In 2021, there were over 70,000 overdose deaths attributed to synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. This number is a drastic increase from the 5,544 deaths recorded in 2014. Last month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called fentanyl the “single greatest challenge we face as […]

Apr 28

Blog Post: State Citizenship Laws Regarding Law Enforcement Hiring 

Police departments across the United States continue to face staffing shortages as they struggle to recruit and retain officers. A national survey conducted in 2022 by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) found that the number of new officer hiring was down 3.9% in 2021 compared to 2019 and there were 23.6% more officer retirements. […]

Feb 28

Blog Post: President Biden’s Border Visit and Border Policies

On January 8th, President Biden visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since taking office amid growing pressure and criticism from Republicans and Democrats about the state of the country’s immigration system. Although his visit to El Paso was brief, Biden met with Border Patrol officers, members of Congress, and other leaders in the […]

Jan 30

Blog Post: Massachusetts Work and Family Mobility Act

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. On July 1, 2023, Rhode Island will join this list when legislation passed this June goes into effect. Massachusetts may also join the list, if voters approve the Work and Family Mobility Act in the upcoming November election.   What is […]

Oct 28

Blog Post: Q&A with Chief Ruben Quesada

Q&A with Chief Ruben Quesada Chief Ruben Quesada is the Police Chief of the Swampscott, Massachusetts Police Department. Prior to becoming Chief, he served in the Mesa, Arizona Police Department for more than two decades. Chief Quesada holds a Doctor of Education from Grand Canyon University, where he completed his dissertation: “Shades of Brown and […]

Jul 28

Blog Post: LEITF Members Continue to Support DACA 

LEITF Members Continue to Support DACA  June 15, 2022, marked the ten-year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This means that for ten years, young immigrants brought to the United States as children have felt safer in their communities because of protection from deportation, the ability to legally work in the U.S., and […]

Jun 30

Blog Post: Title 42 and the Need for Better Border Solutions

Title 42 and the Need for Better Border Solutions The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on March 30, 2022, that the use of Title 42 at the border will be suspended starting on May 23. Originally put in place during the Trump administration, this pandemic-era policy allows Customs and Border Protection (CBP) […]

Apr 29

Blog Post: Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s AAPI Liaison Program

Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s AAPI Liaison Program In 2020, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. reported 8,263 hate crime incidents to the FBI, the highest number of hate crimes reported since 2008. The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an […]

Mar 11

Blog Post: Q & A with Chief Ramon Batista

Q & A with Chief Ramon Batista Chief Ramon Batista is the police chief in Santa Monica, CA and is currently serving as a LEITF Senior Advisor. Chief Batista has 35 years of law enforcement experience and was previously the chief in Mesa, AZ. How did you first come to be involved in the LEITF? […]

Nov 18

Blog Post: Law Enforcement’s Role in Welcoming Afghan Refugees

By ret. Chief Ramon Batista (LEITF Senior Advisor) With the departure of American forces from Afghanistan and the ensuing arrival of evacuees from that country to ours, I can’t help but think about the role that American policing will play in their lives. I look to the future and think about the impact these new […]

Sep 28

Blog Post: Community Trust Q&A with Chief Cole

When immigrants feel safe in their communities, we all benefit. To ensure public safety, it is critical for law enforcement officers to build effective relationships with members of their respective communities – regardless of background or immigration status. To learn more about how police departments can build trust with immigrant communities, the LEITF reached out […]

Sep 01

Blog Post: Building Trust with Immigrant Communities

From paying taxes to filling labor needs to cooperating with local law enforcement, immigrant communities are crucial to the health and safety of American communities. To ensure that these vital individuals can continue to make important contributions to our communities, we must look to form strong relationships between immigrant communities and law enforcement based on […]

Jul 30

Blog Post: Only in America Podcast with Chief Mike Brown

In this episode of Only in America, Ali Noorani spoke with Chief Mike Brown of Salt Lake City, Utah to discuss the intersection of immigration and law enforcement, and how immigrant members of the Salt Lake City community have been vital to local law enforcement through their Explorers Program. Chief Brown, who has been chief […]

Jun 30

Blog Post: Law Enforcement Voices at the Border

Law Enforcement Voices at the Border According to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over 178,000 immigrants were stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in April. This 21-year high in monthly apprehensions was largely comprised of single adults, who are rapidly expelled under the pandemic-era Title 42 rule. Recidivism rates are also high, […]

May 28

Blog Post: New LEITF Paper Compares Obama, Trump, and Biden Administration Immigration Enforcement Priorities

The Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force recently published a resource comparing the enforcement priorities of the past two administrations with the interim priorities of the Biden administration. To read the full paper, click here. Enforcement priorities describe how federal immigration enforcement agencies use their resources to arrest and/or remove non-citizens. Through the Obama, Trump, and […]

Apr 30

Blog Post: LEITF Members Receive a White House Briefing on the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

In light of humanitarian crisis at the Southern border – and particularly the recent increase in unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum at the border – the White House provided a briefing for members of the National Immigration Forum’s Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF) and Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI) on Monday, March […]

Mar 31

Blog Post: Q and A with Chief Carmen Best (Ret.), Seattle Police Department

Q and A with Chief Carmen Best (Ret.), Seattle Police Department, LEITF Senior Advisor How did you first come to be involved in the LEITF? Several years ago, I was serving as Deputy Chief of the Seattle Police Department.  Kathleen O’Toole, our Chief at the time, had tasked me with building and strengthening relationships between […]

Feb 26

Blog Post: The Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act

The Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act On December 31, 2020, the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act (MPURA), S.2174, was signed into law. This legislation is one of the only bipartisan efforts on immigration to become law in a long time. It was introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and co-sponsored by then-Senator Kamala […]

Jan 28

Blog Post: LEITF Members Express Support for Mayorkas DHS Nomination

LEITF Members Express Support for Mayorkas DHS Nomination President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mayorkas served as director of USCIS under President Barack Obama and was instrumental in implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He later became the deputy DHS secretary, a role […]

Dec 21

Blog Post: Green Bay (WI) Police Department on Why We Need to Make It Easier for DACA Recipients to Serve in Law Enforcement

Why We Need to Make It Easier for DACA Recipients to Serve in Law Enforcement LEITF member Andrew Smith is Chief of Police of the Green Bay (WI) Police Department. The Green Bay Police Department first became involved in the national conversation around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in late 2018. At […]

Oct 29

Blog Post: For Law Enforcement, a Permanent Solution on DACA Is Critical

Chris Blue is the police chief of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Trump administration’s latest changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) only underscore what we already know: Congress should act to protect tens of thousands of North Carolina Dreamers — our neighbors — from deportation. The administration announced that it will not accept […]

Sep 18

Blog Post: King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office’s U and T Visa Program Manager

Zoraida Arias is the U-Visa/T-Visa Program Manager for the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office. This is a newly created position under the leadership of LEITF member Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, and Zoraida has been instrumental in helping the KCSO expand its work to assist vulnerable populations. Zoraida has used her extensive experience working with both immigrant […]

Aug 19