Providing Critical Tools to State and Local Law Enforcement to Carry Out Immigration Laws
It’s National Police Week in the Nation’s Capital, and during this week, the country pays honor and remembrance to law enforcement officers and survivors. During National Police Week, a number of bills are being introduced or considered in Washington. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is supporting efforts to provide immigration authority to officers across the country.
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) introduced legislation today that would enhance state and local law enforcement efforts to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain or transfer to federal custody any alien in the United States for the purpose of assisting in the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The bill, titled “Empowering Law Enforcement Act of 2023,” would help provide critical tools and authorities for state and local law enforcement as they carry out their normal law enforcement duties.
Specifically, the Empowering Law Enforcement Act would clarify that state and local law enforcement personnel have inherent authority to carry out the enforcement of our immigration laws. It would also clearly define the length of time under which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may detain a criminal alien to ensure criminal aliens are released into our communities.
The Empowering Law Enforcement Act also makes it clear that state and local law enforcement are empowered to call on the federal government to request that it take custody of illegal aliens. State and local agencies could detain illegal aliens until DHS takes custody and seek reimbursement for costs incurred.
The bill would also enhance information sharing by requiring DHS to submit information on immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center Database, also known as NCIC. This database, maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is accessible by criminal justice agencies that make an inquiry about crimes and criminals. According to the FBI, the information in NCIC assists agencies in a variety of ways, including apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, as well as in the protection of the law enforcement officers encountering the individuals described in the system. The Tuberville/Carter bill, if passed, would require information on illegal aliens to be included in the NCIC so that immigration violators, such as those who are subject to final orders of removal and visa overstays, would be readily available to state and local officers.
FAIR supports the Empowering Law Enforcement Act of 2023, and believes now is the time to provide more tools to state and local law enforcement officers who are bearing the burden of our border crisis and mass illegal immigration surges.