18 August 2017

Local and Immigration Enforcers See More Cooperation Under Trump

Law Enforcement
While the U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded stricter enforcement of immigration laws by local law enforcement, some county sheriffs across the U.S. had already been establishing closer relationships with anti-immigration groups in recent years.

Some of the national groups have been offering sheriffs advice, inviting them to "border schools" to hear anti-immigration speakers, producing television advertisements featuring sheriffs and sending at least one sheriff a model ordinance intended to spur local law enforcement of federal immigration laws.

For many Americans who are fed up of incessant coddling of illegal aliens, this could be seen as a laudable collusion between heavy-handed law enforcers and nativist organizations intent on maintaining a blissful environment for the legal residents or an informal flow of information between two groups with a mutual interest in strict enforcement of federal immigration laws. Either way, a new report released on the deepening relationship between sheriffs and anti-immigration groups comes at a time of increased focus on immigration issues.

"Nativist groups have recruited county sheriffs to help implement dangerous anti-immigrant policies that split up families, intimidate survivors of violence, and deport people to their deaths," reads a report written by the pro-immigration Center for New Community (CNC).

"These are exactly the results that the contemporary anti-immigrant movement has long been seeking, [including] a drastic increase in deportations and attrition through enforcement."

Cultivating relationships with law enforcement officials like county sheriffs has been a goal of anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) for more than a decade.

A December 2005 FAIR newsletter stated, "Creating coalitions with police and sheriff's [sic] departments all across the country to confront the issues posed by mass immigration has been a key FAIR goal for many years," according to the CNC report.

After identifying sheriffs who were concerned about illegal immigration, FAIR staff met with them, sent them a steady stream of information, set up regular conference calls and invited them to D.C. to meet with FAIR’s senior staff, according to the organization’s 2011 annual report.