ACLU Applauds CA Police Chiefs for Expressing Strong View That Local Police Should Not Enforce Immigration Laws

April 15, 2002 12:00 am

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SAN FRANCISCO–The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California today applauded the California Police Chiefs Association for expressing their strong opinion that local police should not be involved in immigration enforcement.

“”We commend the California Police Chiefs Association for recognizing that local enforcement of immigration laws would only lead to the erosion of police-community relations and would reduce their ability to solve crimes,”” said Mark Schlosberg, Police Practices Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California, noting that “”local police are not trained in the intricacies of immigration law.””

According to recent press reports, the U.S. Department of Justice has said it is considering a controversial plan to give local law enforcement the power to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. In the past, attempts by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to do this have been met with criticism from a wide range of civil rights organizations and representatives of the nation’s Latino community.

In a letter sent to Attorney General John Ashcroft on April 10, the association said that, “in order for local and state law enforcement organizations to continue to be effective partners with their communities, it is imperative that they not be placed in the role of detaining and arresting individuals based solely on a change in their immigration status.” The association represents municipal law enforcement agencies throughout California.

A copy of the letter is available online at

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