Legal problems, indeed |

Legal problems, indeed

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail, Colorado CO

Local cops don’t want to chase down illegal immigrants who haven’t done anything else wrong.

In conversations with the county’s police agencies and prosecutors in recent weeks, the frustration with Colorado’s new immigration laws was unanimous. Local law enforcement officials feel tracking down illegal immigrants interferes with their efforts to protect the community.

The District Attorney’s Office says its witnesses have been deported.

One police employee says illegal immigrants are using their status against each other. For example, an illegal immigrant who beats his wife may threaten to report her to immigration authorities if she reports the abuse to the police.

Agencies across the valley worry serious and violent crimes ” including rape and child abduction ” aren’t being reported by immigrants who are afraid of being deported.

Our local police agencies simply feel a greater responsibility to all of the people who live in their jurisdiction than to the federal government, which seems unable to manage its immigration system.

The federal government, under the past few administrations, has failed the country when it comes to border control by not making it easier for foreign workers to come to the United States and not keeping evildoers out.

And Colorado’s Democratic Legislature and former Republican governor, with knee-jerk new laws, only created new problems when they asked small-town police departments to clean up a mess caused by craven Washington politicians who’d rather ignore the issue in today’s never-ending election cycle.

A basic principle of the United States is that victims of violent crimes and other oppressions, regardless of their immigration status, deserve humane treatment and justice. Colorado’s new laws intefere with the delivery of such justice.

The Democratic Congress must work with moderate Republicans and the Bush Administration to allow more people into the country to work. If the nation continues to deny the natural human instinct to seek out the better life across border, everyone will continue to suffer the obvious social stresses and other side effects of illegal immigration.

” M.Z.

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