Top cops Dolan and Harrington oppose Arizona-style anti-immigrant law
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington have just issued a joint statement saying they are dead set against the Arizona-style anti-immigrant bill introduced to the state House yesterday by Steve Drazkowski, and urged lawmakers and citizens alike to denounce the measure.
"Our officers have worked hard to build relationships of trust with our residents, especially new Americans, and these partnerships have helped us bring down crime in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul over the past several years," the chiefs said. "We believe that mobilizing local police to serve as primary enforcers of federal immigration laws will throw up barriers of mistrust and cause a chilling effect in immigrant communities."
Here's the full text of the statement:
As the police chiefs for Minnesota's two largest cities, we oppose HF3830, the Arizona-style legislation recently introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives that pushes local law enforcement officers to the front line on matters of immigration.
Community policing is a core value and clear priority in the cities we serve. It is through partnership with people and communities that our cities are made safer, because partnership builds trust and communication. Our officers have worked hard to build relationships of trust with our residents, especially new Americans, and these partnerships have helped us bring down crime in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul over the past several years.
We believe that mobilizing local police to serve as primary enforcers of federal immigration laws will throw up barriers of mistrust and cause a chilling effect in immigrant communities, impairing our ability to build partnerships and engage in problem-solving that improves the safety of all members of the community. The culture of fear that this bill will instill in immigrant communities will keep victims of crime and people with information about crime from coming forward, and that will endanger all residents.
It is a mistake for our state to try to fix our nation's immigration system. We urge Minnesota lawmakers and the people of our state to join with us in denouncing HF3830. We believe this bill runs contrary to the values of community policing and problem-solving that the people we serve have rightly demanded and will make our communities less safe.
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