Local Police Agencies

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Some local police departments are taking it upon themselves to pass immigration policies, which is usually the responsibility of the federal government. The states will pass bills regarding immigration giving officers the right to question a person’s immigration status during a stop if they have probable cause. The local police implementing these laws and procedures are treading new territory and need to do more research and training.
Law enforcement agencies use many different methods when dealing with immigration, they have increased cooperation with federal law enforcement, they have restricted the current training and patrol procedures, and implemented greater communication and intelligence sharing with other law enforcement agencies.
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The officers must take into account the people’s rights. The possibility of officers being subject to lawsuits over unlawful arrests and detentions is high. The officers could also be accused of racial profiling as well as other violations of law. There are several legal complexities of federal immigration law enforcement when being implemented in the local setting. Risks of liability are one of the many factors.
Some law enforcement agencies believe that the immigrants are in the country illegally; which means that they have broken laws and should be treated just like any other criminal would.
“In 1996, the authority of local and state law enforcement to engage in civil immigration enforcement became more clearly defined with the adoption of two federal statutes, the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which gives local police authority to arrest previously deported non-citizen felons, and the Illegal Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which authorizes training of local and state police to enforce federal immigration laws”(Cole & Gertz, p. 185, 2013). They see it as their duty as state and local law enforcement to help the federal government and to arrest and detain these
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Local police agencies must also follow their own state laws which might hinder their ability to arrest someone under the suspicion of being here illegally. They have to take into account the different civil violations that they could be impeding.
“The challenges that immigration enforcement - particularly civil immigration enforcement –creates for police departments involve more than conflicts between professional standards and political pressure, serious as those are. Expanding authority to engage in immigration enforcement also raises its own issues for policing. It is part of an expanding universe of crimes like bias or hate crime, terrorism, human trafficking, gangs and electronic crime that arises out of changes sensibilities, new technology, or revised legal definitions” (Cole & Gertz,p. 188, 2013).
The laws are complex and changing all the time. The responsibilities that are being taken over on the local level are confusing and blurred. Local law enforcement is trying to combine their state laws with the federal laws used regarding immigration and it is

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