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Immigration enforcement: Everybody wins

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Contrary to assertions by the politically motivated coddlers of illegal aliens, vigorous enforcement of immigration law does not have a “chilling effect” on immigrant communities' trust in police.

That “chilling effect” is a myth, the Center for Immigration Studies ( cis.org) concludes in a new report based on government and academic research. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics data “show no significant differences between ethnic groups on crime reporting” — and academic studies show immigrants most commonly don't report crimes due to language and cultural barriers, not fear of immigration enforcement.

In fact, local- and county-level law enforcement leaders say immigration enforcement improves public safety and cuts their criminal-justice costs. They welcome partnerships with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), favoring passage of the federal SAFE (Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement) Act to boost those joint efforts. And when law enforcers participate in such partnerships, crime reporting in immigrant communities does not decline.

Police and sheriff's departments that hold illegals for removal by ICE report lower average daily inmate counts in their jails and receive federal reimbursement for detention costs. And getting criminal aliens off the street keeps them from committing more crimes.

For Americans who respect the plain meaning of “illegal,” including law enforcement at all levels, vigorous immigration enforcement cost-effectively enhances public safety and upholds the rule of law.

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