Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against a pair of reckless immigration bills that would undermine law enforcement and public safety in San Diego. H.R. 3003 forces local law enforcement to do the job of federal immigration officers and would withhold federal law enforcement resources – including COPS grants and Byrne-JAG grants – from police departments that do not comply. San Diego’s law enforcement – which has not expressed a need for this bill – have long been leaders in community policing, and have received bipartisan support for their immigration enforcement policies that prioritize maintaining strong relationships with immigrant and minority communities. H.R. 3004 expands the already-severe penalties for illegal re-entry in the country without providing due process protections for individuals seeking asylum or refugee status.
Rep. Peters released the following statement:
“Our immigration system is broken, and these proposals would do absolutely nothing to fix it. They would, however, undermine the autonomy of local law enforcement in San Diego and the culture of trust that keeps our city safe.
“Congress wants to blackmail San Diego into altering its successful community policing policies. This would have a chilling effect on how victims and witnesses from immigrant communities in San Diego cooperate with law enforcement, which is a hindrance to stopping crime and threatens public safety.
“Suspected criminals are already prosecuted to the full extent of the law – regardless of their immigration status – and the existing penalty for illegal re-entry by convicted felons is already severe. Extending those penalties to non-violent criminals is a poor use of limited taxpayer resources.
“Instead of these misguided proposals, Congress should be debating comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens border security and commerce, helps workers and businesses grow the economy, and keeps families together. We need more solutions and less partisan politics.”