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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Time to Meet the Challenge

Well, it about time! This article appeared in the Dallas Morning News and the authors, representing five North Texas districts in the State Legislature, are Linda Harper-Brown, Jim Jackson, Jerry Madden, Rob Orr, and my old friend Ken Paxton. Ms. Harper-Brown and Mr. Paxton serve on the board of Directors of the Texas Conservative Coalition. They can be e-mailed through www.capitol.state.tx.us.

It's Time to Meet the Challenge
Get law enforcement involved in solving our immigration problem, say 5 AREA LAWMAKERS

It's no secret the federal government has repeatedly failed to enforce immigrations laws. Thus states and communities have been left to bear that burden. Many states and their communities have risen to this challenge; Texas and its local communities must do the same.

This year alone, 23 state and local agencies in various states have entered into agreements with the federal government that allow local officers to enforce federal immigration laws. Arizona and New Mexico both declared a state of emergency in order to direct funds to address the illegal immigration issue. Additionally, Oklahoma and Georgia have each passed comprehensive bills to address the problems and costs of illegal immigration.

Texas has taken steps to abate the problems of illegal immigration as well. The Legislature appropriated $100 million to border security initiatives. Operations Wrangler, Linebacker and Rio Grande have proven successful in reducing crime along the 1.200 miles of international border that Texas shares with Mexico. These initiatives have decreased border crime by about 60 percent in border counties.

At the local level, the city of Irving has enacted an impressive and efficient program to deal with criminal illegal immigrants. Irving works closely with ICE officials to verify the residency status of individuals who are arrested on other charges. If Irving police arrest an individual here illegally, that person is then transferred to the custody of federal officers.

It is imperative that other communities follow Irving's lead by adopting a Criminal Alien Program of their own.

After speaking directly with Department of Public Safety field officers, it is clear that our law enforcement is not only capable, but willing to take on the responsibility of helping secure our borders. Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives state and local law enforcement the legal authority to investigate, detain and arrest illegal aliens on both civil and criminal grounds. We would like to see the DPS enter into a 287g agreement with ICE so officers may receive the necessary authorization and training they need to take action when they encounter illegal aliens.

DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said earlier this month "our stance has always been that we don't enforce immigration policy." That stance is unacceptable. Let us not allow bureaucratic authority to restrict the duty of our public servants.

Given our present circumstansces, it is vital that Texas law enforcement officers be given the opportunity and the authority to uphold the oath they took upon becoming a peace office. Article XVI, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution (the official oath of all appointed and elected officers of the state) clearly states that the officer shall to the best of his/her ability "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of [Texas}."

Irving's experience with the initiative allowing its police department to work closely with ICE has been exemplary and serves as an excellent example: 1,638 people have been turned over to immigration authorities with a total of 3,901 charges made against them. These include four murder charges, 23 sexual assault charges, and 259 charges of driving while intoxicated.

Statewide data provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice indicates that of the 2,851 offenders with final orders of deportation in TDCJ facilities, 616 have been convicted of homicide, 458 have committed a sexual assault against a child, 405 have been convicted of robbery and 253 have committed a sexual assault against an adult.

Texas and its communities have an important role to play in protecting citizens against the costs and dangers of illegal immigration. The city of Irving has taken a model position, and we urge communities across the state and the nation to follow suit. The next Legislature must recognize the urgency of this issue and should examine further ways to empower our public safety officers.

Mr. Unloadingzone's Comments:

Add up all the numbers of illegal aliens arrested and the total number are of course guilty of being on United States soil ILLEGALLY.

DPS Spokesman Tom Vinger should be fired for dereliction of duty and not upholding the laws of Texas and the United States. He should be made an example of.

Actual law enforcement officers across the state and the nation are overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing our immigration laws. What's stopping them is the cowardice, the political correctness, and the fear of losing votes by our elected and appointed officials....especially activist Judges whose liberal personal views outweigh the letter of the law and their responsibility to uphold it.

No more phony excuses that its up to the Federal Government.....state and local governements are helpless. As the Legislators so clearly stated above, Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives state and local law enforcement the legal authority to investigage, detain and arrest illegal aliens on both civil and criminal grounds. Someone should mail a copy of 287g to all the activist Judges.

Yes, the Federal government should be leading the charge but instead are cowering in fear of alienating Hispanic voters (legal and illegal alike). Section 287g means we the communities can act on our own, thank you very much.

I still don't think the politicians get it. Illegal immigration is a MAJOR Hot Button of the electorate and citizens at large. Many politicians still feel by ducking the issue or issuing vague statements that are both pro and anti illegal immigration at the same time will protect them at election time. The truth is, politicians like the five who wrote this article will rise to the top as public outcry steamrollers over the issue-avoiders. It's still not too late to get on board with the majority of Americans who oppose illegal immigration......but time is running out for you.




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1 comment:

suzyq98 said...

Politicians standing up against illegals? Wow, how politically uncorrect of them. Good job!

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"