A new report co-published by the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Century Foundation recommends that in order to combat the “Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic policies targeting…black and brown bodies,” American police departments should stop arresting certain criminals to prevent their potential deportation.
The report, which was written by the director of the “Technology for Liberty” project of the ACLU of Massachusetts, takes special exception with “broken windows policing,” a law enforcement strategy that prioritizes combating minor crimes and public order offenses like vandalism, public drug use, and petty theft, all with the intention of improving the quality of life of citizens and ultimately reducing the number of major crimes like murder or rape.
Instead of directly arguing against the effectiveness of broken windows policing, the author simply asserts that the strategy is racist because it “tends to focus oppressively on poorer neighborhoods of color, feeding our jail systems with a steady flow of black and brown bodies—among them immigrants, and the bulk of them poor.”
In the report, the author does not consider the possibility that police might focus on “neighborhoods of color” because they are the source of a disproportionate number of both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crimes (especially murder) and property crimes, according to data from the FBI and Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Instead, the ACLU author sees a far simpler picture of America: U.S. law enforcement agencies must be engaged in a massive racist plot to create an “architecture of oppression” that keeps “immigrants, dissidents, Muslims, LGBT people, [and] the poor” subjugated. Police can't possibly be well-intentioned and actually want to eliminate crime in minority communities.
In order to solve their imagined crisis of a racist police conspiracy oppressing people of color, the ACLU simply wants to do away with arresting people for minor crimes, which would seriously hamper ICE’s efforts to find and deport illegal aliens. And that is precisely the intent.
From the report [emphasis mine]:
But there are other ways that local governments can keep their vulnerable residents out of the Trump deportation machine that will also advance long-standing criminal justice policy goals: local and county police departments can stop making arrests for certain categories of offense, and cities and states can decriminalize some of those offenses.
When local police arrest someone and send their prints to the FBI, the FBI shares those fingerprints with ICE. The best way to stop that from happening is, simply, for local police to stop arresting people for minor crimes, including:
· drug offenses;
· traffic violations, including driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, and driving with an expired registration;
· petty larceny; [author’s note: known to normal people as “theft” or “stealing”]
· disorderly conduct;
· public drinking and drug use;
· vagrancy; and
· fare evasion.
In other words, the ACLU thinks that personal property rights and basic safety regulations should take a backseat to protecting people who aren’t even supposed to be in our country from being sent home.
If you still doubt that this is the intention of the author, take a look at how she laments the possible deportation of a real-life example of a petty criminal [emphasis mine]:
The personal cost to immigrants resulting from arrest for minor offenses is extremely high. For example, on May 14, 2017 a Minneapolis transit cop arrested 23-year old Ariel Vences-Lopez on charges of suspicion of committing fare evasion, giving a false name, and obstructing a police officer. On May 15, ICE asked the county jail to hold Mr. Vences-Lopez on an immigration detainer. ICE picked him up from local custody the next day, and he was placed into deportation proceedings. Had the transit police officer not arrested Mr. Vences-Lopez on this minor charge, he would probably still be living in Minneapolis a free man.
What a tragedy! If only Minneapolis had more turnstile jumpers, surely Minnesotans would be so much better off.
But in all seriousness, how much crazier can liberals get?
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that a political group that overwhelmingly and openly opposes enforcing immigration laws is now shifting towards opposing the enforcement of other laws, but it certainly does beg the question:
Where does this slippery slope end?
Click here to read the full ACLU/Century Foundation report.