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Phoenix Officers' Rep Says Law Tells Chiefs to 'Get Out of the Way' on Immigration

April 27, 2010  | 


Many law enforcement groups have expressed their support for Arizona's new immigration law, which is opposed by police chiefs. Photo courtesy of Gov. Jan Brewer.

Arizona's new immigration law does not mandate that law enforcement officers get involved in "routine immigration enforcement," the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association's (PLEA) Mark Spencer told a local radio host.

While appearing on Mike Broomhead's radio program on KFYI, Spencer said the law gives officers an additional tool that must be embraced by police chiefs who have opposed the bill.

"You'd think this would be a happy day for law enforcement, but really it's just the opposite," said Spencer, the association's president. "It's frustrating when you have to pass a bill to tell a police chief to allow police officers to do police work and enforce the law. This bill mandates that police managers follow the rule of law and allow discretionary contact with ICE to address the crime of illegal immigration."

Spencer said the law has six major components for law enforcement, including that officers must make lawful contact with subjects; have reasonable suspicion based on conduct not skin color; initiate contact at the officer's discretion; refrain from racial profiling; assume everyone is a citizen; and disengage an illegal immigrant if detaining them would hinder an investigation.

Listen to Spencer's interview.

A new law in Arizona requires officers to enforce immigration laws. Would you want to take on this duty? Vote in our current Web Poll


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