Arizona's new immigration law does not mandate that law enforcement officers get involved in "routine immigration enforcement," the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association's Mark Spencer told a local radio host.
While appearing on Mike Broomhead's radio program on KFYI, Spencer said the law gives officers an additional tool that must be embraced by police chiefs who have opposed the bill.
"You'd think this would be a happy day for alw enforcement, but really it's just the opposite," Spencer said. "It's frustrating when you have to pass a bill to tell a police chief to allow police officers to do police work and enforce the law. This bill mandates that police managers follow the rule of law and allow discretionary contact with ICE to address the crime of illegal immigration."
Spencer said the law has six major components for law enforcement, including that officers must make lawful contact with subjects; have reasonable suspicion based on conduct not skin color;initiate contact at the officer's discretion; refrain from racial profiling; assume everyone is a citizen; and disengage an illegal immigrant if detaining them would hinder an investigation.
It brings a lot of questions up and as I said in my earlier blog, I'm conflicted in regard to immigration. I can understand the bishop's views and I understand the police officers issues when they aren't allowed to use ICE when dealing with criminals. The United States does need to help the poor from Mexico, immigration laws do need to be changed so that more people can come here legally, even if it's only temporarily. But, those who break crimes need to be dealt with too and there are places in Arizona that don't allow their officers to deal with the immigration status of criminals. It's a sticky topic and this is not meant to end source of all arguments but is only meant to speak about how it affects law enforcement.