NEW YORK, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Latino Jewish Leadership Council (LJLC), a politically and professionally diverse group of prominent U.S. Latino and Jewish leaders convened by AJC, expresses its disappointment and deep concern at the Texas governor's decision to sign a law that undermines public trust and public safety by driving a wedge between immigrant communities and law enforcement.
Senate Bill 4 does not accomplish its purported goal of advancing security. On the contrary, it pulls police commanders out of the chain of command and removes their authority to determine what lines of inquiry make sense during an arrest, a traffic stop and/or any other encounter with a civilian. Its expressed mandate that local law enforcement hold individuals pending execution of federal immigration detainer requests is unprecedented, exceeds what federal law requires and removes local communities' ability to determine the manner and circumstances in which local detainees are held for federal authorities. Furthermore, the ability to inquire about any individual's immigration status during a lawful detainer, prior to an arrest, dangerously borders on the edge of racial and ethnic profiling based on stereotypes and preconceived ideas.
Essentially, the bill supplants the expertise of numerous police chiefs and other law enforcement leaders who have for years affirmed that the ability of police officers to garner the cooperation of immigrant communities depends on recognizing the distinction between the constitutionally directed role of the federal government in immigration enforcement and local police's role in protecting our neighborhoods.
The bill grows out of the tragically wrong-headed belief that indiscriminate immigration enforcement is the key to combatting violent crime. In fact, the true face of immigrant communities as largely honest, hard-working and devoted to family is no less present and relevant now than during the great waves of European immigration of the late 19th and early 20th century. The rhetoric supporting enactments like SB4 obscures this reality and in so doing undermines our most fundamental values as Americans. It's still not too late for Texas to back away. We urge it to do what is right.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee