There are certainly many things wrong with Georgia’s decision to copy Arizona’s legislation in regards to immigrants. There is a reason why cops are cops and not border patrol agents or ICE agents. Cops already have enough on their plates every time they go out on patrol. Rounding up the ‘usual suspects’, in this case immigrants, should not be part of their duties.
Never mind what would happen to the already fragile economy of Georgia if every single immigrant got up and returned to wherever they came from. Some immigrants may be here illegally, but they don’t shop and spend money at illegal establishments. Their money is still very much legal at Wal-Mart and McDonalds. Notice the signs in Spanish at some of these stores- they aren’t turning away customers either. It’s funny that Gov. Deal is not requiring businesses to determine the immigration status of a Mexican mother when she spends $100 on merchandise at Wal-Mart.
All people in this country – even illegal immigrants – have a right to be protected by the police and seek police assistance if they are victims of a crime. How many do you think are going to come forward now to report a crime if they fear being deported? How many are going to volunteer information that could be so helpful in a criminal investigation if they fear being deported? There’s an old adage, the people are the eyes and ears of the police, and this is true whether or not those eyes and ears have legal papers. I worked for several years in Jackson Heights, Queens, a melting pot of Hispanic cultures. While investigating crimes involving immigrants, whether they were victims, suspects, or witnesses, my biggest hurdle was convincing them that I was not concerned or interested in their immigration status. And this isn’t even getting into the increase in human trafficking that is happening right now. Trust me when I say that illegal immigrants are not ‘wilding’ through the streets of America and committing wanton acts of crime and violence. My experience as a member of the Law Enforcememt community for 27 years has shown me just the opposite. The great majority are decent, law abiding people.
This piece of legislation will only serve to make the jobs of police officers tougher than it already is. The Governor should take an anonymous poll of police officers to get their opinions of this new law. I bet he will be surprised at the results.