Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will join senior law enforcement officials from the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton Wednesday at the White House, where they will discuss strides made in securing U.S. borders, immigration issues affecting local police forces, and the resultant need for comprehensive reform.
Sheriff Baca and other nationally respected law enforcement leaders will talk about the roles, responsibilities, concerns and impact of local police forces serving communities with immigrant populations.
“It’s important for the public to trust their local law enforcement and to be able to call on them when needed,” said Sheriff Baca. “That relationship is compromised when otherwise law-abiding people are afraid of deportation.”
The sheriffs and chiefs like Sheriff Baca, IACP President Craig T. Steckler and Bratton will have the opportunity to share the successes and challenges in their local jurisdictions with officials like Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin, Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West, and Director of White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz, and they will be briefed on current policy and programs.
From left: Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy D. Baca; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin; former LAPD Chief of Police and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton
Last Monday, a bipartisan group of senators released a framework for broad immigration reform including a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, reforms to the legal immigration system based upon the needs of the economy, creation of an employment verification system, and an improved process for admitting future workers.
We need help in Washington so that we can focus on catching criminals, rather than sacrificing priorities to play the role of immigration agent,” said Baca. “Immigration reform will strengthen security in communities across the country.”
“America needs to come to grips with the truth that it needs legalized documented workers,” Baca said. “This country also depends on undocumented workers in many of our vital industries. It is time to move forward with real reform when it comes to all of our immigration issues. And we need to do it sooner rather than later.”