In an effort to strengthen national security, Senator Norm Coleman yesterday introduced an amendment to the Immigration bill to make sure local law enforcement officials are able to communicate with federal law enforcement agencies regarding suspected immigration violations. Currently, a number of cities throughout the nation are using a loophole to get around Sec. 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 by instituting ordinances forbidding local law enforcement to even ask the question as to whether a person is in the U.S. lawfully, thereby evading their legal responsibility to report their suspicions to the federal government.
“In a post 9-11 world, it is simply unacceptable for communities to ignore federal laws requiring them to share this type of information with federal authorities. This is not a matter of making state and local governments enforce federal immigration laws, it is simply a matter of closing this loophole that certain cities have created,” said Coleman. “This defies common sense, as the rule of law must apply to both legal and illegal residents. Moreover, we know how crucial it is to connect the dots in order to avert another terrorist attack in this country. The consequences of prohibiting information sharing are too great. To close this loophole, I have introduced an amendment that will ensure the lines of communication are open between local and federal law enforcement officials.”
Senator Coleman’s legislation will not require local law enforcement to use their own resources to enforce federal immigration laws. Moreover, it does not require local law enforcement to conduct immigration raids or act as federal agents. Senator Coleman’s bill will simply give law enforcement officers the ability to inquiry about a person’s immigration status during their routine investigations, and in turn report their findings to the appropriate Federal authorities though already-established channels, as they are currently required to do by law.
I don't really ask all that much, I think, when I ask our elected representatives to stand up and recognize that this country was built on the principle that the law is egalitarian toward its citizens, and, in light of that, should at least act as though they respect those laws. It's nice to know somebody's senator sees his job in the same light, and is willing to try to do something about those who undermine the law of the land.
I wish, I wish, I wish... dammit, I'm still stuck with Durbin as my senator!
Will somebody from Minnesota please give Coleman a big kiss for me?
Update: Power Line has another good reason for shutting down "sanctuary city" policies and enforcing the law as written. Follow the link to Jean Hopfensperger's Star-Tribune story, especially.