A little more on HB 237, (Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act) which passed out of the Law Enforcement Committee on Friday, SLC Chief Chris Burbank testified that 1/3 of Salt Lake's population were "minorities" and that he feared that passing this bill (requiring training for Utah State Police and ALLOWING local entities to receive similar training) would inhibit his ability to 'protect' the community and would NOT be used by SLC. He said the bill has huge fiscal costs for jails. SLC Crime stats
He indicated there were not enough ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) officials to process the illegals. (Probably true, but this bill would HELP in enforcing and assisting ICE. His erroneous understanding seemed to have been that these train officers would be ICE 'deputies.' The Section 287 (g) "permit(s) designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions . . . (who are) working in conjunction with ICE allows these local and state officers: necessary resources and latitude to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering; and increased resources and support in more remote geographical locations.")
He also indicated that it would lead to Racial Profiling by the police (Personally I have more faith in Utah law enforcement officers) and could destroy the 'trust' of the illegal alien community and limit their request for protection and intervention from local police. (When did 'illegal alien' become a RACE?)
He indicated there was not enough jail space to incarcerate illegals. When queried by Rep. Brad Dee if he was saying we shouldn't enforce the law because we don't have jail space; Chief Burbank (non)responded that local officers should serve and protect the community. Rep. Dee followed with the statement that SLCity does not even have a jail and that if SLC does not want to participate they don;t have to. The Chief responded that if one jurisdiction does participate then the illegals perceive all of the police as potential deportation threats and their (quote) "equal access to government will be eroded." Rep. Dee noted the overwhelming support of Utahns for something to be done.
Rep. Litvack gave an emotional plea to vote AGAINST the bill and to protect the illegals.
The Bill passed out of committee by a 7-3-1 vote.
Audio of the HB 237 hearing can be found at http://www.le.state.ut.us/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2008&Com=HSTLAW The very interesting commentary by SLC Chief Burbank starts at 1:24:30 - Rep. Litvack summation at 1:42
News Reports of the Hearing:
SL Trib ICE busts not for us, says SLC top cop
DNews 3 of 4 migrant bills push through