Acting Chief at Metro DC Police- We Will Not Enforce Civil Immigration Laws

 In opinion, Politics

In keeping with the idea that you don’t want to alienate undocumented or other immigrants, the Acting Police Chief of the DC Metro Police stated that his department will not enforce civil immigration laws. Why? Because he wants people to trust the police, and arresting illegal immigrants would “divide the community.”

Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told Fox5 News on Friday morning,

“When you’re dealing with local crime in a big city like Washington, D.C., you really need to have the trust of your community. And to get local police involved in civil immigration enforcement is only going to draw a divide between you and the community. The cornerstone to American policing is really trust, and I’m adamantly opposed to anything that’s going to create distrust between us and anybody who lives or works or visits Washington, D.C. “

Which creates more distrust: enforcing the law or not enforcing the law? Depends upon which side of the law you’re on.

According to, Washington Governor Jay Inslee also recently ordered state law enforcement NOT to enforce immigration statutes.

Generally ICE is the one that “enforces” immigration laws anyway, not local police. But these high profile statements  of defiance are likely intended to be “in-your-face” anti-Trump stances.

Illegal Immigration – a loophole in the system

Entering the United States without being inspected and admitted, i.e., illegal entry, is a misdemeanor or can be a felony, depending on the circumstances. 8 U.S.C. § 1325.”

According to the ACLU, about 45% of undocumented immigrants did not come in illegally, but overstayed their visas or dropped out of school- violating the conditions of their admittance. Other stats say that  EWIs or those who Enter Without Inspection are around two-thirds or three-fifths of the total.  Both EWIs and those who overstay their visas are subject to deportation.

But the only criminal statue is the one for Entry without Inspection. It’s a loophole in the system, and it’s big enough to drive a semi through.

Bet you didn’t know this:

Most of the Immigration laws in the United States are civil, not criminal. The Illegal entry statute is the only one that is actually criminal. Though we all call them “illegal aliens” (and they are), technically they are not considered criminals if they just overstayed their visa, but are simply deported for coming here against immigration statutes.

This is the reason many of them keep returning time and time again. They know nothing will be done to them.

The relevant Supreme Court Decision for that is here, and is reportedly still in use today despite how old the ruling is:

[Deportation] is simply the ascertainment, by appropriate and lawful means, of the fact whether the conditions exist upon which Congress has enacted that an alien of this class may remain within the country. The order of deportation is not a punishment for crime. It is not a banishment, in the sense in which that word is often applied to the expulsion of a citizen from his country by way of punishment. It is but a method of enforcing the return to his own country of an alien who has not complied with the conditions … which the Government of the nation … has determined that his continuing to reside here shall depend. He has not, therefore, been deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the provisions of the Constitution securing the right of trial by jury and prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel and unusual punishments have no application. Fong Yue Ting vs. United States, 1893

Note that violators do NOT have Constitutional protections. If they actually commit a crime while on US soil, they can be punished for that crime and then deported. But the act of simply being present in the United States as an immigrant does not constitute an actual criminal violation if they came here on a visa in the first place.

What do you think, should that be changed?





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