By Sarah Guy, Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
ACP Leadership was asked by Vice President Biden to attend an intimate meeting at the White House in order to gain some insight from the law enforcement community on immigration reform and the law enforcement elements in the recently passed Senate bill (S. 744) Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.
The IACP did not take a position on the Senate-passed bill, largely because of its complexity and the breadth of its components—many of which fall outside the scope of public safety issues. We are supportive of many of the law enforcement elements in the bill, but still have a few outstanding concerns as Congress and the Obama administration move forward in passing immigration reform legislation.
In the meeting with the vice president, IACP leadership was able to discuss some areas of potential concern on immigration and the role of state and local law enforcement. Those apprehensions included (1) limited cooperation and trust by immigrant communities, effecting elements of community oriented policing if state and local police are mandated to conduct immigration enforcement; (2) the ability to provide proper resources, manpower, and training for law enforcement agencies; and (3) the need to provide a clear statement on the authority of state and local law enforcement in immigration matters.
The Senate bill awaits House action. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has repeatedly said that the House will not consider the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill it passed in June. However, Republican leaders have said that should they pass a package of bills, they could conceivably work with the Senate to appoint a conference committee and complete a final bill for consideration by both chambers in December or early 2014.
The IACP looks forward to working with members of Congress as they move forward—making sure that the voice and needs of the law enforcement community are heard and met.
IACP Submits Testimony for House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on Attacks on the Homeland
In mid-July, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing entitled, “Assessing Attacks on the Homeland: From Fort Hood to Boston.” IACP Executive Director Bart Johnson submitted testimony for the hearing. Witnesses included Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York; Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center; Dr. Bruce Hoffman, professor and Director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies and Security at Georgetown University; John Cohen, deputy counterterrorism coordinator and senior advisor to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
The hearing focused on U.S. counterterror efforts since 9/11. As the committee members took a closer look at the last five attacks on the United States, they focused on how far we have come and what must be done in order to better protect the United States.
The crux of the hearing was the issue of collaboration: information and intelligence sharing among federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies.
In his testimony, Mr. Johnson elaborated on the successful investigation that followed the Boston Marathon bombing, and shared an email from Colonel Tim Alben of the Massachusetts State Police that described the collaborative efforts and partnerships that occurred between local, state, and federal law enforcement.
IACP Supports the End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013
At the end of July, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) along with Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Kay Granger (R-TX) and Richard Nolan (D-MN) introduced the bipartisan and bicameral End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013 (H.R. 2805/S. 1354). The legislation strengthens the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by adding the words “solicits or patronizes” to the sex trafficking statute, making it absolutely clear that criminals who purchase sexual acts from trafficking victims can and should be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted as sex trafficking offenders.
Every year, thousands of criminals prey on children and trafficking victims in the United States by purchasing illicit and coerced sexual acts in communities, places of business, and on the Internet. This legislation targets the source of the human trafficking problem and aims to reduce and eliminate the demand.
IACP President Craig Steckler sent a letter to the bill’s sponsor in support of this legislation.
Law Enforcement Agencies Respond to House Permanent Select Committee on an Intelligence Proposal on Fusion Centers
The IACP, in conjunction with the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, Major City Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, National Fusion Center Association, and the National Sheriffs’ Association, sent a letter to the chairperson and ranking members of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in response to a proposal that would dramatically change the relationship between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Network of Fusion Centers and negatively impact the ability of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) to support the U.S. homeland security mission.
In the letter, the associations express specific concern about proposals to redeploy DHS Intelligence Officers (IOs) from individual fusion centers to the 12 DNI (Director of National Intelligence) regions, and to restrict I&A’s ability to develop certain analytical products that are consumed by fusion centers and state and local law enforcement.
The joint letter further explained how the proposals would decrease analysis and information sharing on threats on the state, local, and federal level as well as inhibit investigative efforts.
Mr. James Comey has been confirmed by the Senate as the new FBI director, replacing Robert Mueller. In addition, B. Todd Jones was also confirmed as the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) since 2006.
The IACP supported both nominations with President Craig Steckler submitting letters of endorsement to the White House and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ♦
Please cite as:
Sarah Guy, "IACP Meets with Vice President Biden on Immigration Reform," Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 80 (September 2013): 8.