The Anaheim Police Assn. has passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Congress to make illegal entry into the United States a felony.
The APA is not acting in a vacuum. We are responding to a serious threat to our community and ourselves.
Last year, Officer Tim Garcia of the Anaheim Police Department was shot and almost killed by an illegal alien. Due to that incident, we passed a resolution requesting that an INS officer be put in our jail. We knew that 25% to 35% of our arrests were of illegal aliens. The APA didn’t want these illegal alien criminals back on the streets, and we felt that deportation would be a benefit to everyone in the community.
On June 14, two Anaheim police officers were injured when another illegal alien fired nine rounds of ammunition at them.
We have pledged to protect the public as our first priority, and we also want to protect ourselves. This is what has brought this new resolution to the forefront of our activities.
It is unfortunate that those with true authority to deal with the illegal alien issue have failed to do their job, and it boils down to the fact that someone has to take a leadership role.
It appears that the mantle has been thrust upon us, the police officers on the streets who try their best, day in and day out, to protect our community.
As it stands now, police officers are completely powerless to deal with an illegal alien even if we are aware of their illegal status. By making illegal entry a felony, police officers would have the power of “probable cause.” We could then arrest the illegal and turn him over to the INS for deportation. This is a legal process which would make our job easier by lessening our civil liability.
We are not advocating that police officers go after people in their homes or the places they work. We are also not advocating time in prison for a first-time offense.
In Anaheim, the City Council is constantly trying to find millions of extra tax dollars to put more police officers on the streets.
Common sense seems to indicate that if almost one-third of our crime problems are being caused by illegal aliens, and if we were to solve that problem, we would not need to spend additional millions of tax dollars on the Police Department.
HARALD G. MARTIN
Treasurer, Anaheim Police Assn.