[Swiftwater Gazette] Phoenix Becomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary
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Sun Sep 24 10:16:08 EDT 2017
PhoenixBecomes Illegal Alien Sanctuary after Leftist GroupOrders it in Private Meeting with Police ChiefAUGUST22, 2017
Arizona’slargest city recently became a sanctuary for illegal aliens after itspolice chief held a private meeting with a leftist group thatdemanded a change in immigration enforcement policies, recordsobtained by Judicial Watch show.
Theclosed-door session between Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Will Goana, policy directorfor the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona,occurred just weeks before thePhoenix Police Department quietly implementeda new policy banning officers from contacting the feds after arresting an illegal alien and forbidding them from asking aboutsuspects’ immigration status. The new order violates key provisionsof a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leaves the cityvulnerable to costly lawsuits.
JudicialWatch exposed the abrupt policy revision last month after obtaining acopy of the Phoenix Police Department’s new sanctuary Immigration Procedures and filed a public records request to uncover the stepsthat led to the change. Law enforcementsources told Judicial Watch in July that the revisions were craftedby a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders with thebacking of the influential ACLU. It appears to be part of a broaderscheme to dodge federal immigration laws in Arizona’s most populous county.
Earlierthis year Judicial Watch reported that the newly elected sheriff in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was releasing hundreds ofcriminal illegal immigrants—including violent offenders—fromcounty jail facilities to protect them from deportation.
Thenew records obtained by Judicial Watch show that an ACLU offshootknown as People Power attempted to meet with Williams, who becamechief on October 28, 2016, on April 19, 2017 to order the policychange. It’s not clear if that meeting took place, butit appears that it did not and People Power called in the big guns atthe ACLU. That’s when Goana,who also lobbies the Arizona legislature on civil liberties issues,met privately with the chief, on May 9, according to the records.
People Power reps followed up with a meeting request on May 16 todiscuss the Phoenix Police Department’s immigration policy changeswith Chief Williams, the records show. The meeting occurred on June9, about a week after Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher met withPeople Power and gave the group a glowing review. Inhis assessment, the city manager describes the leftist group as “oneof the most reasonable groups I’ve talked with” and says itconsisted of “a former high school teacher, a magazine editor, 2attys, a massage therapist, and two Hispanic advocates who I’venever seen before.” On June 29, Chief Williams had afollow-up meeting with the ACLU and People Power regarding thechanges to the immigration policy, the records show.
PeoplePower was launched by the ACLU as a direct response to the “Trumpadministration’s attacks on civil liberties and civil rights.”It recruits local activists to pressure law enforcement and electedofficials to commit to the following demands: Not ask people aboutimmigration status; Decline to engage in the enforcement ofimmigration law; Refuse to detain immigrants on behalf of the federalgovernment unless there is a warrant signed by a judge.
Thanksin large part to the group’s efforts, the 3,000 officers in thePhoenix Police Department have been stripped of discretion fromaddressing the crime of illegal immigration or using sound judgementwhen it involves suspects thought to be in the U.S. Illegally.
Noother federal crime in department policy has those restrictions. Officers continue to have the discretion to contactthe Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors,U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear ofviolating department policy.
Allowingofficers to use their discretion when dealing with criminal aliens has been an effective tool in curbing crime. In 2008, former PhoenixPolice Chief Jack Harris revealed that a 24% decrease in homicidesand a 26% decrease in auto thefts could be partly attributed to “anew immigration policy that allows our officers to use theirdiscretion when dealing with criminal aliens” and “unprecedentedcooperation between our investigative units and our state, federal,and local partners (Maricopa County Attorney’s Office).”
Borderpatrol contacts in the Tucson Sector reported that in the same fiscal year (2008 – October to September) they saw a 41% decrease inborder apprehensions. Nevertheless, on July 24 the new restrictiveimmigration policy went into effect at the Phoenix Police Departmentat the request of an open borders coalition. Now officers can’teven use the term “illegal alien,” which has been officiallyreplaced with “unlawfully present.”
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