As concern about illegal immigration mounts, Phoenix, Ariz. Mayor Phil Gordon announced Monday that he would seek to end a controversial 20-year-old police policy that often bars officers from asking about a person’s immigration status, the Arizona Republic reports. “When it was written, it was right for local law enforcement and our community,” Gordon told reporters. “But it was written in another time – and it was based on the premise that the federal government would fulfill all its responsibilities regarding immigration enforcement. Obviously, that has changed.”
The new policy, which will be developed by a four-man advisory panel, should allow police to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when any law has been violated by a person police suspect to be an illegal immigrant, the Republic said. The move marks a significant step to the right on immigration for Gordon, who previously had said the order frees officers to concentrate on serious crimes.