Policy Analysis II by OAgU85U


									Running head: POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                         1

                                    Policy Analysis II

David Kurth, Alanna Evans, Adriane Pierre, Christopher Von Tress, Diane Le, Shawn Crawford


                                     January 23, 2012

                                      Daniel Barry
POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                                                   2

                                        Policy Analysis II

       In a vacuum, an event in one area is generally isolated from other areas. Many areas of

law and criminal justice may not appear to be related to other areas, and are often thought of as

being isolated similarly to objects in a vacuum. Reality presents a different perspective different

than that of a vacuum, though. A policy decision or law directed at one aspect of the criminal

justice system will have a ripple effect on other criminal justice functions. For instance, when a

correctional agency decides to reduce the inmate population by more lenient parole

requirements, police agencies are charged with the additional burden of offenders that may not

be ready for a successful transition to life back in society. Immigration policies are currently

drawing much attention, and the decisions of police agencies and prosecuting attorney offices

can have a dramatic effect on each other.

                                    Prosecutorial Discretion

       As with any case or crime, the prosecutor of the town, city, or state has the ability to

review it and decide whether or not to proceed on charges. Not only is this true with normal

crimes as murder, rape, drug possession, and burglary; but it is also true when dealing with

illegal immigrants. Normally, all immigration cases are dealt with by the U.S. Immigration and

Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). However, recent changes in some state laws have made it

possible for local law enforcement agencies to handle it directly. Immigrations is considered a

federal job and is usually handled strictly by ICE. Because of the changes, prosecutors have to

exercise discretion when dealing with illegal immigrants. According to a memorandum from

Homeland Security, it “provides U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel

guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency's immigration

enforcement resources are focused on the agency's enforcement priorities” (Morton, 2011, p 1).
POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                                                      3

       The memorandum goes into detail as to which people can exercise discretion and some of

the appropriate times to do so. The biggest factor that is in the memorandum is that discretion

will not be used on illegal immigrants that pose a threat to national security, are repeat or violent

offenders, and gang members who are a serious threat to public safety. A prosecutor that uses

discretion is choosing not to waste valuable resources that can be used on the more serious

crimes and threats. They also are choosing to not prosecute the individuals to the full extent of

the law.

                           Police Response to Prosecutorial Discretion

       The police are the initial contact when it comes to apprehending an offender. When

immigration and illegal residency is another factor, this makes the situation more difficult for

both the prosecution and the law enforcement agency. Immigration policies are not only set out

to protect the citizens of the United States, but are also set out to protect against those who are in

the country illegally. If a resident alien were to want to obtain citizenship, he or she must be able

to complete a set of requirements to fulfill this.

               The police person’s duties are to enforce the law while the prosecution’s duties

are to act in the judicial system to interpret the law. For example, if the prosecution in a

particular case only gives an illegal immigrant who has no driver’s license or automobile

insurance a fine after causing a serious accident. This might outrage the efforts of the policeman

in carrying out his duties. However, the prosecution can only serve within their rights and the

state laws. In cases that involve immigration, the offender is tried at the local level for the crime

committed and then sent to detention where the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement will

then place a hold on that offender (Madorin, 2011).
POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                                                     4

               The duties of the state prosecution and police ends there. The federal government

along with ICE will then step in to take the next steps in the process. There are other times when

ICE is not called in minor or non-violent crimes and it is left to the state courts and the

prosecution to handle the case. The police are key witnesses because they can recount the actions

of the offender. A lot of times, the offender has false identification, gives false information, and

other illegal documents. The police are responsible for supporting the case for the prosecution.

            The Perception of How These Policies Have Affected Police Activities

       The immigration laws of America state that unless you have a valid visa to live here you

are an alien of the country, therefore here illegally, and should be deported. However, it’s not

that easy for local police officers. Police activates are affected mostly because of the fear of

racial profiling. “Racial profiling as the term has been employed in recent public debate, refers to

government activity directed at a suspect or group of suspects because of their race, whether

intentional or because of the disproportionate numbers of contacts based upon other pre-textual

reasons”(Siggins, 2010). In the weeks following September 11, federal, state and local law

enforcement officials worked feverishly to investigate those responsible for the most

reprehensible crime on American Soil and to assess our state of vulnerability to further acts of

terrorism. This became a huge problem with a certain racial group of people living in America

legally as American citizens when it came to police activates among them.

       The perception on how and should state and local law enforcement should have the

authority to enforce the rule of federal immigration law have been talked about. States and

localities bear the primary responsibility for defining and prosecuting crimes. “But beyond

enforcing the laws or ordinances of their state or locality, state and local officials may also have

the authority to enforce some federal laws, especially criminal laws” (Congressional Research
POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                                                  5

Service, 2004). For example, alien smuggling, which is prosecuted in the courts and civil

violations like lack of legal status, which may lead to removal through a separate administrative

system. In any case immigration law will always be provided by federal and state criminal

punishments it’s just a matter of how we go about it that could affect state and local police

activates when it comes to them protecting America and performing their duty correctly.
POLICY ANALYSIS II                                                                             6


Congressional Research Service. (2004, March 11). Should state or local governments enforce

       federal immigration laws? Retrieved from


Madorin, M. (2011). The prosecution of illegal immigrants. Retrieved from


Morton, J. (2011, July 17). Exercising prosecutorial discretion consistent with the civil

       immigration enforcement priorities of the Agency for the apprehension, detention, and

       removal of aliens. Retrieved from http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-


Siggins, P. (2010). Racial profiling in an age of terrorism. Retrieved from


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