This is a great op-ed from the Police Chief of Salt Lake City. I did not include the article in full, so I urge you to read it in its entirety. I believe Chief Burbank echoes the sentiments of Chief Deane. Given Moon-Howlers most recent thread topic, it seemed to fit the need to have law enforcement actually participate in what makes a community safe. Given the past history of PWC, Chief Deane was right to stand before the BOCS and warn of “unintended consequences” .

Police officers should not engage in civil immigration enforcement. However, local law enforcement should diligently continue to arrest serious criminal offenders and, as appropriate, refer dangerous criminals to federal authorities. Civil immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, and it is paramount to the well-being of our neighborhoods that the federal government maintains accountability.

This is the central finding of a report from the Police Foundation, a research organization in Washington, D.C. focusing on law enforcement issues. Noting that police agencies throughout the country were increasingly being asked to assume immigration enforcement responsibilities, the foundation conducted a yearlong study to determine the appropriate balance between immigration enforcement, civil liberties and community safety.


I had the honor of participating in the national conference with more than 100 law enforcement peers and executives. While the debate was enthusiastic, several recurring themes emerged. The costs of participating in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program outweigh the benefits. Additionally, local police officers should be prohibited from arresting and detaining persons to investigate immigration status absent probable cause of an independent state criminal law violation.

After speaking with law enforcement officers and community leaders throughout the country, the Foundation concluded that local immigration enforcement damages the relationship between local police and communities; in fact, individuals are less likely to report crimes or participate as witnesses due to fear of Police enforcement.

We have already observed a chilling effect upon victims and witnesses as well as a polarization within neighborhoods regarding immigration legislation (Senate Bill 81) that went into effect on Wednesday. Often unrecognized in the debate is the significant adverse impact upon all individuals of color. How is a police officer to determine status without detaining and questioning anyone who speaks, looks or acts as if they might be from another nation?

For many years, Washington has failed to repair a broken immigration system, and local police officers have been irresponsibly designated to pick up the slack. By increasing our role in civil immigration action, state and local officers are placed in the untenable position of potentially engaging in unconstitutional racial profiling while attempting to maintain trust within the communities we protect.

Requiring police agencies to engage in civil immigration activities diverts critical resources away from our central responsibilities during a time of budget cuts and staffing shortages. The Salt Lake County Jail releases, on average, 900 criminal violators monthly due to overcrowding. Funding issues prohibit utilization of existing bed space and the facility cannot meet current demand. Detainees held for reasons of civil immigration status alone will necessitate the release of an even larger number of criminals into our neighborhoods.

Immigration issues instigate some of the most heated debate in the United States today. Unfortunately, this deliberation has yet to include the voice of law enforcement, whose job and mission are drastically impacted by immigration policy. As the Police Foundation report recommends, the federal government needs to pass comprehensive immigration reforms to truly fix the problem and relieve the burden on state and local police. They also need to involve the perspective of police in this upcoming debate.

Memorials and museums are erected in remembrance of those who died, but additionally, and most importantly, to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes or misdoings of the past.

Chris Burbank is Salt Lake City’s police chief.

121 Thoughts to “Salt Lake City Chief of Police speaks out and mirrors what Chief Deane warned us about in 2007”

  1. Emma

    Whatever, Moon. Glad you are able to endorse and even comment on namecalling like “Greg hag” or whatever misguided ageism young Justin finds so funny. If Twinad wants to continue to strike back fast with her bitter, angry and unforgiving heart, so be it. I’m sure I’m better off that I will probably never meet the likes of her.

  2. Lafayette

    There’s certainly not any “amen choir” here or Sunday School lessons. 😉

  3. Moon-howler

    Emma, I did speak to Justin about his choice of words that were gross.

    I did NOT endorse the use of Greg Hag. I did not comment. I have my own set of euphamisms.

    Emma, playing the victim isn’t like you. IN fact, she was very forgiving. But she isn’t going to stand there and allow round 2 to happen. You need to evaluate how you addressed her. Give a little get a little. How would you react if your government wanted to split up your family for whatever reason? Several people here have gloated.

    I think what Twin is doing is, again, fighting stereotyping by offering up some people she knows and cares about who are not taking that which you feel they are not entitled.

    No one here, to my knowledge is saying that some illegal immigrants don’t milk the system. However, not all do. And not all the milkers are illegal immigrants. Many are home grown who know how to work the same system and who feel someone owes them something.

    Laf, no, I saw no amen choir, Sunday School Lessons or class action lawsuits so far today. 😉

  4. Starryflights

    Excellent article. The American people overwhelmingly supported comprehensive immigration reform when they voted for Obama and the Democrats last fall. We need it now.

  5. Emma

    I did go back and look, Moon, and what I saw was that she came out guns a’blazing when I took exception to comments about profiling and about how much more hard-working illegal immigrants are than most Americans. Rick mentioned that her husband should be deported, not me, so I’m not sure where the “round 2” business comes from.

    No, not a victim at all. Just don’t like words and intentions attributed falsely.

  6. ShellyB

    Emma, I didn’t read it as gunza blazin. But if you are a person who connected to certain communities that are so often disparaged and blamed, then it makes sense to try to defend that community. Remember when there was a rash of right wing extremist violence befalling America a few weeks ago? Well, we saw right here on this blog and on right wing news networks a lot of right wing extremists come out “gunza blazin” with the basic message that, “Hey, not all right wing extremists are going to kill policemen, kill doctors, or kill museum security guards. Only some of them.” While this goes without saying, it’s hard to go without saying it if you feel like an entire class of people are being disparaged for the actions of a few.

  7. Emma

    Shelly, you missed an opportunity to make a valid point because you clearly did not read what I posted. For instance, I said:

    Twinad, of course there are undocumented people out ther who work hard and pretty much stay under the radar. That suggests to me they assimilate nicely and are probably good neighbors. But to deny that very many others do not create a burden is just not grounded in reality.

    Hardly a global statement, but entirely predictable that it would be ignored.


    Okay, I know this will come off as nit picky, but I just wanted to let you know what bothers me about the post you cite above. Do you not notice your qualifiers? “They work hard and PRETTY MUCH stay under the radar…they are PROBABLY good neighbors?” You aren’t able to just come right out and say that there are some “illegals” that are hard workers and stay under the radar and are good neighbors? Do you see what I’m saying?

    And I did mean to address Emma’s and Rick’s comments about how they don’t like how some comments come across as talking about how lazy American’s are. Actually, I have seen some posts on the “other” blog about how people need to stop being lazy and hiring “illegals” to do work for them! It could definitely be argued that the kind of work my husband does is a direct result of homeowner’s laziness and unwillingness to do the work themselves. I, personally, do not believe that. I see stressed out, harried homeowners with long commutes and stressful jobs and that the last thing they want to do on a weekend is be a weekend warrior taking on these pain in the butt, time consuming jobs.

    Where I grew up, people simply did not hire someone to do the kind of jobs my husband does. My Dad would NEVER hire someone for those kind of jobs. For Pete’s sake, he is 72 and just painted his house again last summer over the strenuous objections of the whole family. We were like, there is a major recession, there are some poor guys out there that need the work! He ignored us all and did the job himself anyway.

    I keep reading alot about how many people are starting to start their own business once they get laid off. That is exactly how his business started. He had knee surgery over a Christmas holiday a few years ago and when he was ready to go back to work, they didn’t have enough work anymore. So he had to make a decision…go look for a crappy job since he doesn’t have legal status, or start his own business. He chose the latter and it paid off for him.

  9. michael

    I have not read the entire posts above, so forgive me for commenting out of context…

    But I think it is important to remember the relationship between poverty and crime.

    Illegal immigrants without a doubt, bring increased poverty to a community…they bring it with them, they generally have less capable skills (from the poverty they came from), and they accept jobs that pay less, while undercutting incumbant employees with less than abouve board contracts (most are word of mouth and non-documented payments that do not make official accounting and official payroll, therefore do not also make official taxes, and can operate 15-20% less cost for equivalent services, while making the same overall profit (due to less overhead cost, that is ignored as a requirement of LAW and statute.)

    every community that has a significant increase in poverty, also over a period of time, shows a significant increase in a wide range of crimes (theft, burgulary, tresspassing, zoning violations, DMV violations, and and increase in drugs and gang activities to a community).

    It is also common knowledge that illegal immigration also creates a black market, extortion in a black market, underground thuggery, and increase in mafia-style executions between rival gangs and criminally corrupted political systems. At some point in every community of high poverty, the police forces are bought off, local politicians are bought off, and in some cases even the local state and federal enforcement agencies get infiltraters who are payed by criminal gangs and criminal organizations that focus on extortion, drugs, prostitution, and gambling.

    If you want your community to not have an increae in poverty, and to eventually not have an increase in crime, stopp illegal immigration while you can, before it takes over your political infrastructure, as it always has in the case of Irish, Italian, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Ethiopian, and Mexican Cartels and organized illegal immigrant structured and organized community crime.

    If you do not understand these history lessons, you are very naive, and you will wake up one day in a community of organized crime syndicates, that are very difficult to remove and enforce law upon. Your only choice then will be to move out of the illegal, typically ethnic-based community that is supporting the crime organization and gang activity.

  10. Emma

    Twinad, I appreciate that you amped down the hostility, because it made it easier for me to really listen to you. Those “qualifiers” you point out were unintentional and had nothing to do with the larger point I was trying to make. I generally write well, but sometimes it’s not always easy to say what you mean when you start sensing the sharks circling, if you catch my meaning. I’m pretty sure we can have an intelligent conversation without being blood enemies here.

  11. Rick Bentley

    TWINAD … you are revealing too much. His business should probably be subject to forfeiture. Don’t think that that can’t happen. It can and does happen.

  12. An Ordinary Joe

    Twinad, thank you for answering my question. I appreciate your being able to respond to my request amongst the fireworks.

  13. michael

    Anyone who is illegal in this nation can start an “illegal” business and profit FAR MORE fromn it than any “legal” person can start a “legal” business and have the same profit margin after expenses.

    The thing that really pisses people off about illegals who start business’s is they undercut legitimate businesses who choose NOT to hire and exploit “illegal” workers, and pay them less money than “legal” workers.

    I had 15 different painting companies give me estimates for a job once, the prices for the same job ranged from $1000.00 to $3500.00 dollars! The average salary paid to “illegal” immigrant painters is $8.00-$10.00 per hour or LESS. The average journeyman painter used to make $30.00-$40.00 per hour and could afford to raise a family on that salary. “illegal” immigrant painters paint the house in two days, for two painters at $10.00 per hour that’s a labor cost of $320.00. For two journeyman painters, the labor cost is $960.00. Most comapnies charge 2.0 factor overhead (due to taxes, accountants, and legal expenses to follow the law and file tax returns) so they would quote thatsame job at 960.00×2 = $1920.00, and make 10-20% profit for themselves after costs.

    An “illegal” immigrant company will still try to charge the same amount if they can, will pocket the $1920.00-$320.00= $1300.00 dollar DIFFERENCE, will not pay taxes on their employees (because they are “illegal too), and will make almost 300% PROFIT on EVERY job, OR will reduce the bid cost (in the case of landscaping and construction companies run by “illegals”) to undercut legitimate bidders and contractors who must pay higher wages and taxes, in order to steal the work from them. This is why you see entire demographic shifts in who is doing the work, and its NOT because people are too lazy to do the work and only do the work others are un-willing to do.

    A local “illegal” maid company that hires “illegals” will charge $150.00 per hour, it will pay two “illegal” workers 8.00 per hour or LESS (some pay less than require minumum wage law (<$7.25 per hour) to clean your home in 2 hours. the “illegal” company will pocket the difference in labor cost $300.00- $32.00= $268.00 again making almost 800% PROFIT after costs. It used to be that maids were paid $20-40.00 per hour and companies would charge 2.0 factor overhead for the work, plus taxes. accounting costs and insurance or contract the work at %80.00-100.00, making only 10-20% profit after costs.

    ANY of you who pay more than 2xlabor cost (10.00×2)=20.00 per hour worked on the job, or ($160.00 per full 8 hour day per person) are being SERIOUSLY ripped of by “illegal” immigrant companies.

    This is why they can afford houses, when people in the midwest cannot even make a rent payment, and this is why they can afford cars that most of you would not even dream of buying.

    The more you support “illegal” immigration, the richer you are going to make “illegal” immigrants faster than anyone you know that is “legal” can get rich, following the law.

    It is this financial undermining and the poverty of lower wages of the “illegal” employess that brings down your overall community poverty level, while very few “illegal” business owners compete illegally and unfairly, and get richer than any of could dream or hope for, by owning their own illegal business at your expense and ignorance.

    This is what pisses poeple off about pople that continue to support “illegal” immigrants and who refuse to deprt them (everyone works hard, legal or illegal, but the potential wealth gain is not on the same level playing field, due to lawbreaking, and exploitation)

  14. It is fascinating to see that when one presents accurate accounts of the connection of increases in disease and crime to illegal aliens, but also advocates for humane treatment of those same illegals and FOR reform that will provide a path to legitimate immigration, there are always a few who NEVER get past the citations regarding crime and disease, all of which are well documented, and they launch into some comparison with Nazism or genocide. They apparently never read the main points concerning reform of our current immigration program.

    Most civilized nations on Earth have a far more restrictive screening program than America. EU nations demand a far higher health and criminal record screening, before admitting someone to their country.

    The health and crime threat posed by illegal aliens, is not propaganda. This is a real, and rapidly growing threat to our communities. Those who attempt to mis-characterize any analysis of these facts are delusional, or most likely simply well meaning liberals who happen to filter everything through the lens of classism, racism and/or psycho-babblism.

    Just deal with the facts.

    We need to deal with the disease/crime issue.

    We need a path for these folks to either get good work back home, or for them to get in place in line behind the rest of those awaiting LEGAL immigration.

    By creating more economic opportunities for our own citizens, by rebuilding our national infrastructure and our strategic manufacturing base, there will be less competition with illegals and therefore less public resentment over immigrants, both legal and illegal.

    And for those who think that for someone to be a “politician” they must hold an elective office, we offer a quote from Dan Akroyd from the old SNL News, “…Jane (Emma) You ignorant slut!”

  15. Moon-howler

    Emma, I was racing in to your defense.

    Mr. Ballance, I hope that wasn’t OUR Emma you were referring to. I hope she and I both misunderstood. Emma and I often disagree, but calling her (or anyone else on this blog) an ignorant slut is totally out of line.

  16. TWINAD

    Wholeheartedly agree, MH! I wonder if he mixed up her with me? LOL. He’s obviously deranged.

  17. michael

    Good words undone by one ignorant slanderous comment…when will people ever learn.

    If you have a position, you must talk intelligently and politely, or people will not listen (especially people on this blog who are extremely difficult to bring even to a neutral, rational, non-self destructive equitable position due to their zealous support of “illegal” immigration and ethnic/racial balancing quotas/diversity concepts and ethnic entitlement rancid with contemp for the majority), nor will you have a hope to convince them to re-examine their belief systems through reasoning, consistency and evidence of the actual harm that is done when people ignore reality and pursue fantasy, racial self interest and emotional politics.

    The “illegal” immigration issue is about the cost to us, the damange to our economy, the damage to existing businesses, the tremendous disadvantage normal people have under the onslaught of “illegal” individuals, advantages “illegal” individuals have over all others when they make the issue one of minority race and ethnic quotas, and illegal behaviors that totally and completely lopside any sense of fairness, lawfulness, and equality to all individuals under a common law.

    The supreme court has five individuals that believe ethnic group entitlement and reference to groups regarding distribution of social entitlements is the reason we have rampant racism from all races and ethnicities. There are 3 individuals, who believe in racial activism as a meand to balance racial power and entitlement, regardless of how much it prejudices individuals, and Sonya Sotamayer is about to add one more to those activists judges on the supreme court, notably the most radical progressive liberal is Justice Ginsberg, who she will likely politically bond with simply because of her gender. Her membership in NCLR and PRC tell all about her politcal advocacy roles to benefit only her own race and ethnicity.

    No-one on this blog gets that to stop racism and stop the un-fair economic wealth-building over a very short period of “illegal” immigration lawbreaking, over others who refuse to break the law, is you have to stop group self-identification and group entitlement advocacy. These ethnic advocacy groups and individuals who practice progressive racial concepts become the very racists they loath.

  18. Last Best Hope

    Tyler, I am not prepared to write you off as a racist just because you were convinced by an anti-immigrant misinformation campaign, or because you are proud of your Confederate heritage. There is room for both of those things in our society. But to call someone an ignorant slut based on, really, nothing other than the screen name he/or she chose was “Emma” is as absurd as it is hateful and sexist. It makes me wonder if your devotion to the old Stars and Bars is motivated more by prejudice than cultural pride.

  19. Rick Bentley

    I sympathize with someone quoting a sketch comedy show to express something, but it wasn’t funny. Wasn’t really funny back in 1977 either if you ask me.

  20. Emma

    Mr. Ballance, since you and I have never had a previous dialogue, I am at a loss as to which of my words prompted your foul namecalling. Nevertheless, to address your larger point, it is wise to tread carefully when trying to make connections between illegal immigrants and the spread of disease. I have had a good deal of training in public health, epidemiology and travel medicine, so I do have some background here. Obviously, there is always a threat of disease spread when people are mobile. There would be no need for travel vaccinations if that were not the case. But keep in mind that I could travel to England with active pulmonary tuberculosis, swine flu or what have you as a tourist, with a valid American passport, not show any symptoms as I pass through customs, and potentially infect an entire planeload of people and anyone else in close proximity. And the numbers really don’t bear out your point, unless you have facts and figures that show otherwise.

    Believe me, I am no supporter of illegal immigration. But you have to be careful to stick with the facts, or your credibility is shot.

    And I still don’t understand your insult, although I remember the SNL bit. Perhaps it’s a generational thing.

Comments are closed.