Tuesday, March 4, 2008

No Harm, No Foul?

"No agent, officer or employee of the Town of Amherst, in the performance of official duties, shall assist or cooperate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States in the investigation or arrest of any persons for civil or criminal violations of the immigration and nationality laws of the United States."

"There's no need for local police to get involved in what is a federal issue, immigration," Weiss said at the routine Monday Comedy Night (Only In) Amherst Select Board meeting. The proposed bylaw would handcuff Amherst police from enforcing immigration laws. "It doesn't serve any good purpose, in my mind," Weiss said

Amherst already voted in 2000 to have the Police Department ignore Marijuana laws (although if you go to their blog the current post indicates one arrest for pot possession over the weekend). Mr. Weiss also on Monday directed the Town Manager not to charge rally organizers for extra police required to chaperone the Extravaganga pot festival next month.

Now His Lordship wants Amherst PD--state certified law enforcement professionals known for their honesty, integrity and dedication--to ignore Federal immigration law.

Of course other Federal jurisdictions include assassinating the President of the United States, kidnapping, arson and assault (didn’t we just allow our High School to perform “Vagina Monologues’ to reduce assaults against women?). How far will this go Mr. Weiss?

Seven of the 19 hijackers held fraudulent passports and three had overstayed their visas. If Mr. Weiss’s goofy, illegal by-law were in effect seven years ago and an Amherst Police officer stopped one of them for a routine traffic violation heading to Logan Airport on 9/11, they would be forced to allow them on their evil way.

Fine with Weiss--especially if it had been the one targeting the White House.

UPDATE: 4:30 PM (Wednesday). So I hope I did not get my fellow bloggers over at Amherst Police Department in trouble as I posted a comment on their blog pertaining to an arrest over the weekend for pot and linked it to Mr. Weiss's current idiotic idea not to enforce Federal Immigration Law.
Amherst Police Dept Blog


Clarspar said...

I can't believe the thinking in this town. Who is running this circus and why is it being allowed to happen??? But wait, this is the same town that would allow a convicted felon to work with school aged kids so why should harboring illegal immigrants be a surprise. I'm ashamed to say I'm from Amherst. God help us all.

LarryK4 said...

Remember, this is the town that last year passed a resolution saying the US would never attack Iran. I asked town meeting that night what would they do if President Ahmadinejad (the guy who wants to “wipe Israel off the map") had a missile warming up in a silo aimed at Israel with nuclear or biological materials on board?

Obviously Ahmadinejad appreciated the resolution as one of his “ambassadors” sent us a Thank You card. Yeah, just the guy I want to be buddies with.

Xenos said...

This whole line of argument about police departments enforcing immigration laws is a lot of posturing by left and right, and ignores the fundamental realities of the situation -

1. Sanctuary city designations are a lot of bull - immigration enforcement is a matter of civil law, not criminal law, so local police are never supposed to get involved except incidentally;

2. Right wing hysteria about the failure of local police departments to enforce immigration rules is also a lot of bull, since local police departments are not in the business of enforcing federal administrative law.

There may be some good arguments for criminalizing immigration violations, and there are some very sound reasons why it is not a matter of criminal law. Meanwhile, fussing over the role of the police is 99% political posturing.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, well, in the People’s Republic of Amherst we specialize in political posturing (99% of the time).

No, I don’t want our police force to become immigration officers--but neither do I want them restricted from enforcing any state or federal laws should they come upon a violator “incidentally.”

Xenos said...

The downside of local police not being involved is that when ICE conducts a raid, they come down like a paramilitary raid and people can get unnecessarily endangered. The raid in New Bedford resulted in children getting lost, because the federal officers knew nothing about the community and how to ensure that no kids were abandoned in empty apartments.

The main issue of enforcement is enforcing the laws in regard to employers. From what I have seen, when people can't work, they go home.

LarryK4 said...

That's another thing that bugs me about His Lordship's Folly: he specifically cites low-end, low-paying (under the table no doubt) jobs illegals perform as a reason for this bylaw. According to 3/4 Daily Hampshire Gazette:

For Weiss, illegal immigrants are not criminals, and in fact many local businesses, for better or worse, have depended on their employment, often hiring them for jobs that no one else wants.