Tag: minorities

Deputized Police are Destroying Trust in Law Enforcement

By Jadan Buzzard | USA

Police officers are sworn to serve and protect their respective communities. These men and women fulfill an essential function, protecting citizens from dangerous criminals who strive to violate natural rights. However, many police departments harbor a dark secret. These departments partake in a program intended to deputize local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, granting many officers broad discretion in their policing practices. This program, known as “287(g),” was enacted as a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which amended the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. In essence, it grants the Department of Homeland Security the jurisdiction to enter into agreements with local police departments, giving those local police the ability to act as federal immigration agents. Once entered into an agreement with DHS, local police can interrogate individuals to determine immigration status, work with DHS databases, issue immigration detainers, and transfer immigrants over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. As one might expect, the 287(g) agreement program severely impacts local communities, destroying trust in the police and spiking serious crime. Citizens ought to recognize this program as flying in the face of good policing practices. Eliminating the program will create an environment that encourages community trust, boosts the economy, and respects the civil rights of all Americans.

Investigations conducted by the Department of Justice uncovered sweeping discriminatory practices in several departments with 287(g) agreements. Does the name “Joe Arpaio” ring a bell? He was the Maricopa County sheriff in Arizona, recently pardoned by President Trump for unlawful enforcement of immigration laws and severe police misconduct allegations. The 287(g) agreement his department had with the DHS granted him the power to sweep Latino communities for illegal immigrants, interrogating any minorities he deemed suspicious. This practice ought to be opposed by all liberty-minded individuals. When officers begin to make judgments based on physical criteria, like skin color, the result is counterproductive and dehumanizing to people of color. Local enforcement officers should focus on protecting the public from dangerous criminals, not immigrants (who are actually less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States). The 287(g) program displaces police priorities, moving them from productive work to pursuing small crimes and traffic violations.

This raises another issue with the program: it destroys community trust in the police. Community trust is essential to the safety of a given community. Minorities need to feel comfortable revealing important information to police officers about serious crime. These individuals are significantly less likely to assist law enforcement with a serious crime if police are constantly questioning their immigration status. In fact, according to The Center for American Progress in March 2017, “70 percent of unauthorized immigrants and 44 percent of Latinos are less likely to communicate with law enforcement if they believe officers will question their immigration status or that of people they know.” Thus, not only is the 287(g)agreement program racially discriminatory, but it also limits the effectiveness of law enforcement in general. Police often rely on insider information when pursuing a serious crime, and a lack of information can leave a police investigation severely handicapped. This leads to crime spikes in local communities, driving police to suspect minorities yet again, encouraging more discrimination. The ensuing crime spiral is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

A final issue with the 287(g) agreement program is the impact it has on federalism, the system created by the American founders to protect against tyranny. Local police have a specific function – to protect local communities from serious crime – and federal immigration agents have their own function – to enforce federal immigration law. While my view on federal immigration policy is another story, separating jurisdictions provides each actor more efficiency in its operations. But federalism also guards against the usurpation of power by the larger branch, which in this case is the federal government. The founders implemented this system throughout the American government, and it tends to work. The 287(g) program, however, creates an unnecessary (and even dangerous) overlap between federal and state jurisdiction. It turns local police officers into federal agents, consequently offering their jurisdictions over to the federal government. The precedent set by 287(g) can have far-reaching negative effects on future policy. We cannot wait idly by as the federal government continues to usurp powers deliberately left to state and local governments. This provides yet another warrant for the abolishing the program once and for all. Through this act, communities can stand for their Constitutional rights and guard against the onslaught of federal usurpation.

Unfortunately, Trump is pursuing efforts to expand 287(g). The acting director of ICE even announced plans to triple the number of agreements by the end of 2017. This, to put it lightly, is not helpful. Trump should not be focusing on undocumented immigrants that pose little threat to overall safety or the economy. In fact, immigration generally boosts economic growth due to lower labor costs. Many politicians talk of immigrants “stealing” American jobs – a flawed understanding of macroeconomics. Businesses gain revenue from cheaper labor, which allows them to expand production, providing cheaper goods and even more jobs to the public. Undocumented immigration should not top of the list of “crack-down” priorities for the Trump administration, yet somehow it continues to pervade his policy and rhetoric.

While some may consider 287(g) rather irrelevant due to its small size and lack of media coverage, I consider it to be critical. Allowing “unimportant” policies to escape public attention is dangerous. It encourages policymakers to slide back-door regulations into large bills in hopes that they remain hidden. This practice is simply an extension of the nanny-state bureaucracy our government is currently devolving into. We, as individuals, have an obligation to preserve the principles of liberty that our country was founded upon. Without them, no nation can truly flourish. Take a stand against 287(g) and other federal policies that violate natural rights and grant officials broad, unnecessary power. United, we will remain a formidable force, against which tyranny cannot prevail.

Advertisements

Police Brutality and Minority Struggle: Ending the Blame Game

By Greg Stephan | USA

Minorities are, in modern times, facing a lot of problems right here in the good ol’ United States of America.  From drugs to being shot by police to financial instability, these issues are racking many, however not all, minority communities in America.  Children are coming home to see their father on TV, shot dead by police.  People are dying left and right from drug overdoses and gun violence.  These issues are pretty much undisputed in existence, however, the real controversy lies in what the objective root problem is of this issue.  Many people may believe this would be systemic racism within America, others may believe it’s the race of the minorities; however, under further scrutiny, neither example is the case at all.

One issue used to back up the belief that racism of both blatant and subtle forms within our government is the core problem would be minority-dominated school districts getting less funding, thus setting up students in America’s predominantly minority districts to be more likely to fail in life and underachieve.  Racism within government and donating businesses is typically where the blame is placed, however, many fail to regard that most school districts get funding in accordance to the district’s own tax income, determined by the tax collected by the population within the district.  In other words, it’s the fact that most predominantly minority communities are poorer and more crime-ridden than predominantly white communities that causes the low school funding.  Now that we can knock racism out of the way for this issue, we can now dismantle the other extreme, for the true blame is no more on systemic racism than it is on minority races themselves.

The reason for the cause of the school district issue is not racism, nor it is the colors of the dominant races in a community.  What it is, however, is the culture and popular (yet masochistic in the long-term) choices individuals are pressured to make.  Poorer, crime-riddled, minority-dominated communities are more often than not filled to the brim with “ghetto culture”.  This subculture heavily promotes the use of drugs, gangs, street violence, black-on-black crime, and disregard of individual responsibility through various forms of media and action.  Because these drugs and gangs and other forms of street culture, individuals are showing to choose lives of crime, drugs, fraternization, and irresponsibility.  Choosing getting high off of lean and having unprotected sex with your friend’s significant other over finishing college and having a career outside of crime is considered cool and has been normalized by these cultures.  Making these decisions are what make people poor and put families in jeopardy.  Now, whites typically don’t engage as much in these cultures and are, more often than not, not stuck in ghettos and in failing school systems, however some do in fact choose to go down the route of ghetto culture and become irresponsible and, in turn, poor; in conclusion it is not racism nor race that is the cause of this issue, moreover the culture of the individuals claiming to be oppressed.

This trend of the more commonly brought up issues to back a more progressive standpoint on the topic of minority struggle always connecting back to ghetto culture’s influence on minority individuals is seemingly getting more apparent as time passes.  To name just a couple, the high rate of minority crime compared to white crime?  Ghetto culture (which is more popular amongst minority communities) glorifies, normalizes, and popularizes crime not just in the form of art, but also in reality.  High drug consumption/production/selling?  Ghetto culture realizes glorified, normalized drug use, not to mention glorification of gang violence and gangs selling and producing drugs for profit.  Poorer communities constantly on welfare?  Ghetto culture promotes throwing individual responsibility out the window in favor of constantly living life as a hardass teenager who goes to parties instead of class (which coincidentally is also promoted through ghetto culture).

The most socially significant issue minorities are facing, one that simply cannot be left unaddressed is the problem of police brutality against minorities.  Is the reason for cops shooting blacks and other minorities to their deaths always, without a doubt, racism?  Well, no (and I will get to that part in a bit), however, there’s no arguing that a few of these incidents were, in fact, hate crimes.  Dealing in absolutes, however, and saying that every officer-on-minority attack is unjustified or simply racism, would be factually inaccurate as not every police officer that has had to use his or her gun on a minority is inherently racist.  The reason why we see so much “racist” police brutality on the media is because the media can easily make money off of tragedy and hot talking points; police brutality is one issue that is both.  Blowing these issues out of the water and putting a political media spin on the entire deal is exactly what has gotten the majority of progressives to believe that racist police brutality is something that is seen 24/7 pretty much everywhere when in reality it really isn’t.

Why, one may ask, then would the rates of police brutality acted upon minorities significant in comparison to the total American racial minority population?  Well, a good answer for that would be that minorities simply have more run-ins with the police, thus upping the chances of violence and/or brutality.  If for instance black Americans, only make up 13% of the population yet commit 50% of America’s violent crime, then this is a far higher crime rate than white America, thus resulting in more run-ins with police by black folk and in turn, resulting in a higher likelihood of police brutality.  This, in statistics, is called “The Law of Large Numbers”; a vague description of LLN would be that the more times an experiment or event occurs (in this case, minorities running in with police and committing crimes) the higher the probability of a certain outcome becomes (in this case police brutality against minorities).

The reason for such high crime rates resulting in higher likelihood of police brutality?

Ghetto culture.

Ghetto culture promotes committing violent, self-destructive crime against not only other minority individuals but police officers as well, as previously stated several times.  In conclusion, ghetto culture can be linked back to almost every issue currently facing minority communes.  It’s a lot easier to blame others for your own failures to be up-to-par with individual responsibility, especially when your culture romanticizes and falsely justifies it.  Minority communities in America need to focus on independently fixing themselves and reforming the mass amounts of toxic street culture that has become self-evident, not blaming whites for all of their issues.  In the end, the real problem is not racism, nor is it inferiority in race, as we are all individuals with our own unique abilities and disabilities, most of whom being completely capable of fulfilling personal responsibilities.  For an able individual can only be helpless in success and rehabilitation when a society around it blindly claims it’s “cool” and “normal” the way it is.