Massachusetts Law Enforcement Leaders Express Immigration Concerns in Letter | NECN
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Massachusetts Law Enforcement Leaders Express Immigration Concerns in Letter

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    Boston's Police Chief and many other members of law enforcement around the country have sent a letter to Congress over the battle of immigration reform and border policies.

    (Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017)

    Many law enforcement members around the country have sent a letter to Congress over the battle of immigration reform and border policies.

    Among the 63 police chiefs and sheriffs who signed the letter addressed to the U.S. Senate, are Boston Police Chief William Evans, Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. The letter was sent just in time for a hearing on border security.

    Law enforcement members are pleading with the federal government to avoid taking action that could harm community trust when it comes to immigration enforcement. Authorities said they don't want local police officers being used as immigration officers.

    "Our primary concern and mission is public safety and we are dedicated to that," said Koutoujian. "But we're not sure that the message coming from the administration is clear, quite concise."

    The letter states, "local control has been a beneficial approach for law enforcement for decades, having the federal government compel state and local law enforcement to carry out new and sometimes problematic tasks will harm locally-based, community-oriented policing."

    Immigration enforcement, law enforcement officials say, should prioritize criminals and not peaceful residents. But not all law enforcement agrees.

    "It makes me scratch my head, this is something that completely defies the oath we all took in law enforcement," said Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson.

    A supporter of President Donald Trump and right-wing on the immigration issue, Hodgson says he doesn't support the letter sent to Congress.

    "We're a country of laws, we can't create a special class of people who violate our laws, disrespect the laws of our country and say it doesn't matter," Hodgson said.

    In the meantime, a new executive order on immigration from the Trump administration is expected as early as Thursday or Friday.

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