Blanks writes in the Washington Post:
“Last week, federal immigration officials seized an unauthorized immigrant at an El Paso courthouse where she had been seeking a protective order against an alleged domestic abuser. The judge who oversees the court that issued the protective order expressed dismay that such a seizure took place when the person was seeking protection from violence, and perhaps acting on a tip provided by the alleged abuser himself.
President Trump has said his proposed actions to stiffen immigration enforcement are in the interests of public safety, but seizures such as the one in El Paso and the proposed revitalization of the 287(g) program that deputizes local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law make the public less safe and interfere with local policing priorities.
Certainly, immigration enforcement falls within the federal government’s prerogative, regardless of one’s opinion on current immigration laws. However, that does not make every single enforcement action wise or justifiable. Moreover, the respect for federalism — the recognition of state and local governments’ priorities over the whims of Washington — has long been a mantra of small-government Republicans. Yet, it is hard to think of a larger and more dangerous federal intrusion into local affairs than undermining local law enforcement.
. . . .
The federal government has the authority to enforce its immigration laws, but it should do so with discretion and in a way that aligns with the public trust. Likewise, local law enforcement should be free to protect the communities they serve in line with each community’s best interests. Taking law enforcement actions against people seeking protection is dangerous and irresponsible. Threatening those most vulnerable to crime is anathema to improving public safety.”