Some of the nation’s top police officers are calling on Congress to adopt an immigration reform measure promptly, saying local law-enforcement agencies are struggling to deal with crime and confusion caused by a broken system. The Arizona Republic reports that about 100 police chiefs and administrators from across the U.S. joined Department of Homeland Security officials in Phoenix for the National Summit on Local Immigration Policies, sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum.
During closed discussions, participants agreed that the U.S. needs a comprehensive new law containing guest-worker programs, a means for immigrants to become permanent residents, and federal enforcement of the prohibition against hiring illegal immigrants. Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris noted that Arizona’s capital city leads the nation in kidnappings, mostly involving human-smuggling syndicates, which reflects federal policy failures. “It needs to be fixed, and it needs to be done sooner rather than later,” Harris said. Alan Bersin, President Obama’s border czar, assured police administrators that a transformation is under way in the Homeland Security Department.