From The Island Packet:
Published Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The past week’s news on the subject of immigration enforcement illustrates its complexity and why we won’t have meaningful immigration reform until federal lawmakers get the job done.
Unless there is a top-down, coordinated enforcement effort, then Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner is right that state efforts largely amount to “feel-good” legislation designed to score political points rather than achieve meaningful enforcement.
And unless state Sen. Tom Davis and his fellow lawmakers can come up with a way to pay for the additional burden on law enforcement agencies, the wherewithal to build facilities to hold people identified as in the country illegally and the power to dictate federal immigration policy, it’s difficult to see how they can adequately address the concerns raised by Tanner and other law enforcement officials.
Tanner should be listened to. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is one of only four law enforcement agencies in the state enrolled in the federal program that trains local agencies and works with them on immigration enforcement. He warns that without federal reform, the proposed law would burden cash-strapped departments and fill already-crowded jails.
Under the proposed law, those found to be in the country illegally would be turned over to federal immigration officials. But with no guarantee of assistance from federal authorities, the effort could be a waste of time and money. Those whose status could not be determined could not be detained.
Bluffton Police Chief David McAllister said most people whom officers suspect are here illegally are encountered in stops for minor traffic violations. That doesn’t meet guidelines for federal involvement. (more…)
Filed under: Arizona-copycat laws, immigrant community, Law Enforcement, S.B. 20 | Tagged: Beaufort County, Bluffton, Catherine Templeton, David McAllister, Department of Homeland Security, E-Verify, LLR, Nikki Haley, P.J. Tanner, S.C. Attorney General's Office, Tom Davis | Leave a Comment »