TPD chief criticizes Az immigration law to AG Holder
Villaseñor: SB 1070 means crime witness, victims won't come forward
Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor met with Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington on Wednesday to criticize Arizona's new immigration law.
"When you enact legislation that makes any subset of that community feel like they are being targeted specifically or have concerns about coming forward and talking to the police, that damages our capability to obtain information to solve the crimes that we need to work with," Villaseñor said at a press conference after the meeting, according to ABC News.
He joined nine other police chiefs from across the country to explain that SB 1070 will lead to illegal immigrants not cooperating with law enforcement when they are witnesses or victims of crime.
"It's very divisive," said John W. Harris, Sahuarita police chief and president of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"It puts Arizona law enforcement right in the middle. You have one side saying that we're going to do racial profiling. You have another side saying we're not doing enough . . . It makes it very difficult for us to police our communities."
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck agreed.
"The fear of the police already inhibits immigrants from coming forward to a certain extent," he said in the Times. "But if you add this piece you increase the reluctance tenfold."
Arizona immigration law empowers police to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.