“Show me your papers!

“Show me your papers!”

Why ordering our nation’s police to do immigration enforcement is a bad idea.

 Police as immigration enforcement officers? Isn’t illegal immigration illegal?

These are the questions that many folks honestly ask. It is about time our nation’s police leaders answer them because they know why immigration enforcement is a bad idea.


When I was chief of police in Madison, Wisc. for over 20 years federal officials would occasionally ask us to help them round up illegal aliens and sometimes folks from other countries seeking asylum. Each and every time, I refused.

And the reason I refused was this: The day when local police say they will take enforcement action against illegals is the day that an entire class of people will be vulnerable to criminal predators!

When an illegal cannot report a crime for fear of police taking them into custody, illegals become targets for criminals. They can be assaulted, robbed, raped, and forced into involuntary servitude without having recourse to our criminal justice system for protection.

Now some may seem that it is the risk one takes in illegally entering a country. That may be. But for me, the penalty is too great. Illegals, like the rest of us, need to obey the laws of our land. But when it comes to immigration enforcement, that’s the job of the federal government and not local police departments. We don’t want police enforcing other federal laws like the tax code, do we?

Ask local police to round up illegals is not only a bad idea, but a deadly one as well.

Let’s think of some other way to solve the problem.