National Immigration Law Center
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S. 744 Markup

Compose

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2013

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Amendments That Make Law Enforcement Officers’ Jobs Harder Should Be Blocked

Salt Lake City Police Chief Opposes Amendment Requiring That Civil Immigration Status Information Be Entered into the National Crime Information Center Database

WASHINGTON — Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will enter the final phase of markup for S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. This week, senators will vote on amendments that would affect legalization, detention, and deportation components of this bill. Below is a statement from Chris Burbank, chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department, on Senator Jeff Sessions’s (R-AL) amendment 35, which would require that civil immigration status information be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database:

“As law enforcement officers, our first priority is to ensure the safety and security of the communities we protect and serve. The National Crime Information Center helps us accomplish this mission by providing officers with an effective and expedient way to determine whether individuals encountered or detained are a threat to the public or to the officers themselves.

“This important law enforcement tool should not be cluttered with information concerning civil issues. Just as a law enforcement officer would have no need to determine whether someone has paid their taxes in the previous year, officers should not be forced to wade through civil immigration matters to determine whether the individual the officer has stopped has an outstanding criminal warrant for their arrest.

“It would be, at best, foolish, and at worst, dangerous, to add an extra administrative hoop for police officers to jump through in an era of increasing cuts to already diminished police forces across the country. I strongly urge members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject any attempt to litter the NCIC with extraneous information. In police work, every second matters. We shouldn’t be forced to waste time in the performance of our duty to the communities we serve.”

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