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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trust Act

For John, BLUFWe are focused on ants and the elephants are crashing through.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Boston Herald had an article some nine days ago on the General Court's proposed "Trust Act".  It is not favorable. Here is the web site of the organization pushing the "Trust Act".

Here is a copy of the House version of the Bill, filed 18 January 2013.  (Senate version)

The fundamental idea is that illegal immigrants are afraid to seek the help of the police when they are robbed or abused, when they see a problem.  The assumption is they fear the police arresting them for their immigration status, starting a chain of actions toward being deported.  This unwillingness to go to the police allows crime to thrive in the neighborhoods in which they live.

Here is how it is put in the article in The Herald:

But [Mr] Franklin Soults, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said the Trust Act would ease immigrants’ concerns about calling police and would make the Bay State a safer place to live.
Here is the argument against, as presented in the first three paragraphs from the Herald article:
Bay State lawmen and lawmakers are warning that the Trust Act would open the doors to a flood of illegals as advocates plan a rally on the State House steps tomorrow to urge passage of the bill that would bar cops from holding people simply for immigration violations.

“The Trust Act takes the handcuffs off of the people who are breaking the law and puts them back on the police officers who are trying to do their jobs,” Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson said.  “It prevents us from sharing critical information and protecting the citizens we’ve sworn to protect.”

Under the act, which has the support of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and which was recently adopted in Somerville, police would only comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to hold illegals if they had a criminal warrant or if police had a non-immigration-related legal purpose, regulations state Rep. Marc Lombardo said would only entice illegals to flock to Massachusetts.

I agree with the People not being fearful of the police, be they Citizens, Visitors, Immigrants or people here without the proper paperwork.  However, I wonder to what degree that if a Caucasian Middle Class virtue, perhaps also a belief amongst those Asian Americans who have been here for a few generations.  I doubt it is a belief on the part of Blacks, especially those not in the Middle Class, but also those in the Middle Class who live in certain areas.  For example, Blacks living in New York City expect the Police to conduct unconstitutional stop and frisk activities.  There was Elaine from Baltimore, who called the Laura Ingraham Show a few days back, complaining that Blacks in Charm City were being neglected by their Government, local, state and national.

But, aside from our own internal problems regarding trust of the police, I would like to hear what the anthropologists have to say about citizen trust in other cultures, like the cultures from which our illegal immigrant population is coming.  I suspect that the trust level for police in places like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is pretty low.  If it is low in those nations, then the immigrants come with an inherent distrust of the police and it may take a couple of generations to overcome that distrust.  While the "Trust Act" may be a confidence building move, I doubt its immediate effectiveness in reducing crime.

But, it also detracts from the major issues surrounding immigration, such as what is happening to those who being detained after crossing the border illegally, a topic discussed in an article in yesterday's edition of The [Lowell] Sun.  Two of my favorite fall candidates were quoted in the article, Ms Ann Wofford and Ms Marisa DeFranco, esq, and their thoughts made sense.  The responses from incumbent officials were like dishwater.  It is especially disturbing to me to not have elected officials say that the secrecy surrounding these detainees is unacceptable and represents a trend in the wrong direction.  At the risk of violating Godwin's Law, this is the kind of thing that led to bad things being done by the German Government, not only in the late 1930s, but also by the Stasi in the 50s through the 70s.  Governments should not be operating in the shadows.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the United States benefits from immigration.  There should also be no doubt in anyone's mind that immigration should be about creating new Americans, not changing US society.  How many want our society to be like those south of our border?  What about the culture in parts of Mexico, where the local citizens have taken up arms against the Cartels, because the police and army can't or won't?  Yes, Virginia, we do need a Second Amendment.

I am sure there are those with the free time to pursue the "Trust Act", but there shouldn't be too many.  Most should be providing information to the public or working on closing the border or working on ensuring that those who deserve a hearing show up at that hearing.

Regards  —  Cliff

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