Enforcement of Immigration Laws at the Local, State, and Federal Level

Should enforcement of immigration laws occur at the local, state, and federal level?

The enforcement of the immigration should be done at both federal and state and local  level to increase efficiency in fighting illegal immigration (Hollifield et al., 2014). Being done at the state level will ensure that those immigrants in the different states are dealt with according to the federal law set in place. At the local state, the police should help in the enforcement of immigration by using the various training provided by the federal government to ensure that immigration is steeped and minimized extensively throughout the United States.

The state laws on immigration should not conflict with the federal government’s law and should ensure that they add more strength or make similar laws that enforce the immigration laws. A case in point is the state of Arizona which had four conflicting laws the preempted the federal immigration laws. Conflicting laws will bring confusion into the justice system. Therefore, it will be difficult for a state to use a certain law, which is countered by another law formed by the national government. For there to be harmony, the state laws should concur with the national government. Therefore merging and bolstering cooperating with the states, local and the federal government will improve the efficiency of dealing with the multiple immigrants in the various states since the federal government cannot be able to work effectively on the immigration issue alone. Eth use of the security agencies in conjunction with an added workforce in the states will help enforce the immigration laws and reduce further cases regarding immigration.

Challenges Related to Enforcing the laws at the Local Level

The challenge in enforcing immigration at the local level is quite a daunting task. There are many immigrants staying in the various states who have either entered illegally or absconded on deportation orders. Others are fugitive aliens who have outlived their stay and were more than 500.000. The challenge facing immigration at the state level is a limited workforce. A challenge at the local is the conflicting argument of using the police in enforcing immigration laws while their mandate is to protect the public. As such, they will have to concentrate on immigration more and thus the protection of the citizens will be second.

At the state, level the enforcement of the immigration, laws have not had an impact. Some of the states do not put much of their resources in combating immigration. There is thus a lack of political will in dealing with immigration issue at the state level. State government can have a great impact on immigration if they collaborate which the government agencies that deal with immigration. Also, its takes the local state government to come up with measures that will support the immigration reform agenda of the federal government. Some states have passed various laws that seek to provide a sanctuary to the immigrants, as such the local agents in the respective states don’t focus on dealing with immigration as they follow the don’t ask don’t tell rule on the status of immigration.  As a result, the state has very limited cooperation with the federal government in enforcing the various laws. Some large states like New York, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle to name a few have limited the enforcement of immigration federal laws by passing laws that limit enforcement of immigration in their states. Various groupings involving police chiefs have supported the ideas of not involving local agencies in enforcing immigration laws, as it would have an effect on policing.

Challenge related to Enforcing the laws at the State Level

The enforcement of immigration laws has had its face of challenges. The federal government has opted to increase partnership with the states in combating the immigration problem (Rosenblaum, 2011). In the past, the state battled the problem sing handedly with little or no help from the local agencies and the individual states. The ICE and the local and state enforcement agencies have entered into partnerships through the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Reconciliation Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 (Varsanyi et al., 2012). The act elaborated on the various offenses that can lead to the deportation of illegal immigrants and the various penalties they face should they violate the law.  The laws have reduced their rights and increase security at the border of US and Mexico.

Effectiveness of Enforcement of Immigration Laws

The immigration and customs enforcement (ICE), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, has enhanced the effectiveness of the various states and local agencies by offering training regarding immigration (Provine & Varsanyi, 2012).  The trained helps the interested parties in identifying the various immigrants and removing them from the country. The various states have with this training been able to identify more than 130000 illegal immigrants that can be deported at any time as their cases are deliberated by the justice system (ICE, 2010). The states have effectively used the Criminal Alien Program to identify illegal immigrants in the various states and penitentiary facilities to ensure that they are deported as soon a possible. The ICE has greatly help the states and local enforcement agencies in dealing with immigrants within their localities and ensuring that they are dealt with according to the law.

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