Immigration Laws: Examining the Unseen Consequences




Smith, Craig

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The United States as it is known today was created by immigrants who slowly took the land from Native Americans. These immigrants came from England, Asia, France, and Germany. In 1875 the first immigration laws were enacted, targeting Asian workers and prostitutes. In 1921 a cap was placed on the number of immigrants allowed into the United States and in 1924 that number was cut in half. In 1996, a new law was created that allowed immigration officials to deport immigrants that violated certain laws. Immigration has always been a heavily debated topic, however, never as debated as today. In January of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order which made it legal for immigration officials to initiate deportation procedures on almost any undocumented immigrant. In September of 2017, the Texas Legislature passed Texas Senate Bill 4. This bill made it legal for local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. The results of these documents have become the root of heated immigration debates. Local law enforcement is entrusted and expected to protect and serve the community for which it represents. The community policing model is designed to bring law enforcement and the community together, building trust and relationships to fight crime and resolve social issues. However, when the community served is made up of an immigrant population, that trust is failed. When immigrant victims and witnesses of crime feel they have no voice, for fear of deportation, law enforcement has lost the battle with crime and the ability to protect those in need. This is only the beginning of why immigration laws concerning victims and witnesses of crime should be modified.


Illegal Aliens, Immigration Enforcement--United States