Last year, APD created a controversial SOP that basically said that officers could not notify federal authorities when they had a reasonable suspicion that a suspect in their custody had entered the country illegally. There was minor furor over the issue and APD quickly "clarified" (read changed) their position on the issue (Read our take here and here).
Last month's triple homicide in San Francisco caused one of the most liberal mayors in the country Gavin Newsome, rescinded the city's policy - a policy that the nutty mayor had actually promoted through a series of public service announcements. (Hat tip: Jim Villanucci)
All of this got us wondering... what is the current policy of APD? We did a little googling and found the following.
Officers shall not inquire about or seek proof of a person's immigration status, unless the person is in custody or is a suspect in a criminal investigation for a nonimmigration criminal violation and the immigration status of the person or suspect is pertinent to the criminal investigation.
At first blush that doesn't look to bad. The problem is that little "and the immigration status of the person or suspect is pertinent to the criminal investigation." What comes before the "and" is really irrelevant. Unless immigration status is "pertinent" to the investigation, officers with reasonable suspicion that a suspect is in this country illegally are prohibited from notifying ICE that they may have an illegal in custody. In reality we're back to being what San Francisco wisely discarded - a sanctuary city.Our Eyes behind the badge also tell us about another troubling aspect of all of this - illegals receiving state driver's licenses legally. The State of New Mexico will issue "undocumented" aliens a driver's license. These licenses are popping up all over the place and officers see them on a daily basis.
All of this has us wondering... In light of the recent spike in murders and the long standing property crime problem, how many of these crimes are being committed by illegals? How many of them have had contact with police and have presented a legal New Mexico license? How much of the crime here in Albuquerque could be prevented by a simple phone call?
We believe that whenever someone enters this country illegally and benefits from taxpayer provided schools, healthcare, etc., they are already guilty of larceny. Officers should be free to pursue notification of appropriate federal authorities whenever they come into contact with someone who they have reason to believe is in this country illegally. Further, the State of New Mexico is knowingly participating in a crime by making it easier for illegals to blend in and access taxpayer funded programs.
It's no surprise that people who come here illegally would be less averse to breaking our other laws. The Almighty Alcalde's first duty as mayor is to protect the public. That means removing the restraints that bind APD and allowing them to use their judgment when interacting with illegals. Let's make Albuquerque a sanctuary for the innocent rather than a play land for criminals. Who knows how many lives we can save?