PHOENIX, Arizona — The Phoenix Police Department is looking into implementing a new policy for officers that would keep them asking about immigration status or from contacting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when dealing with any type of violation.
The new policy appears to still be in a draft form as part of a revision to the Phoenix Police Department Operations Orders. In the new policy, officers are forbidden from asking about immigration status or from calling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when encountering illegal immigrants while investigating crimes.
In the new policy, the term “illegal alien” is being replaced by “a person unlawfully present” and “Immigration Enforcement” is being replaced by the term “Immigration Procedures.” The current policy gives police officers the discretion to contact ICE when they suspect that an individual connected to a crime they are investigating is in the country illegally. The new policy being proposed would remove that discretion from the officers leading to the lawman having to “must first contact the Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) desk Sergeant who will document all immigration related data and give authority to call ICE.” The policy also prohibits officers from inquiring the immigration status of passengers in vehicles while conducting traffic stops.
The restriction is only placed when an officer is contacting agents with ICE; Phoenix cops have no restrictions when contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshal’s service or any other law enforcement agency when investigating crimes.