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Dem Bill Strips ‘Police’ from ICE Agent Uniform

A New York Democrat in Congress has filed a bill that would forbid immigration officers from wearing clothing that says “POLICE.” Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) urge that it “may be a matter of life-or-death” for them to do so.

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ICE agents and officers may initially identify themselves as “police” in an encounter because it is the universally known term for law enforcement, they say.

Moreover, these agents and officers are sworn law enforcement personnel who enforce the laws in our country.

If she could have her way, U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) would change that. She introduced a bill Thursday that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to prohibit immigration officers and agents from wearing clothing with the word “police” on it.

According to the Los Angeles Times, officials and open borders advocates in the California city are leading an effort to halt the practice of ICE officials quickly identifying themselves as police. The mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and City Council President Herb Wesson penned a letter to the directors of ICE and the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Division “to urge in the strongest possible terms that ICE immediately cease this practice in our city.” The officials sent a copy of the letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The Times reported that the officials used the oft-cited justification that “the city’s immigrant communities are living in heightened fear of deportation and detention, and that such practices only discourage people from reporting crimes.” These city officials do not contend that the practice is illegal.

Rep. Velazquez calls the practice “completely unconscionable,” and the bill would apply to agents and officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

The congresswoman told The Washington Post, “It could trick families into opening their doors to agents from ICE without a warrant.” “There’s not going to be a lot of trust between the police and the communities,” she added.

She also charges that “hate crimes and hate rhetoric have increased since Donald Trump made it to the White House” and counters – “You didn’t see that when Obama was in the White House.”

The Post reported that officials in the sanctuary city of Hartford, Connecticut, have also jumped on board to prohibit ICE officers and agents from identifying themselves as law enforcement. The police chief from Hartford issued a statement that said, “ICE agents should not identify as local police as it is misleading and can damage the important relationship with local communities.”

Harford Mayor Luke Bronin said, “our police and other public safety officers need to foster a relationship of trust with all our residents.” He argues, “Our police officers have worked hard to build that trust, and for ICE agents to present themselves as local police will undermine the hard work our department has done.”

Mayor Bronin contends “We follow all state and federal laws, and we will partner with anyone to help get violent criminals off the streets. But federal agents should not be creating the impression that they are local police.” News8 in Connecticut reports that Hartford sees itself as a “sanctuary city” and prohibits the local police or city agencies from collecting “immigration information.”

The Immigrant Defense Project and the Educational Alliance support Velazquez’ bill. The Times also reported that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Service Employees International Union, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Central American Legal Assistance all champion the bill. Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Illinois) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) and other Democrats in Congress have also endorsed the bill, it reports. Breitbart News reported that officials detained Gutierrez in mid-March when he refused to leave a meeting in the Chicago office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Gutierrez was leading a sit-in with illegal aliens who were demanding information on specific deportation cases.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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