A Framework for Understanding Subfederal Enforcement of Immigration Laws
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In discussing the varied LEA responses, the normative question naturally arises: Which model of immigration enforcement should an LEA embrace? If an LEA with no current immigration enforcement policy were to decide on a model, which model should it choose? Or, if an LEA wants to reconsider its current enforcement model, what factors should it consider in making its decision? The answers to these questions depend on the interests of individual LEAs-interests that may vary from LEA to LEA. The second contribution of this article then is to raise important questions that LEAs should consider in deciding which model is best for them. Who is your community that you are protecting? How important is community communication/trust to your policing model? Will immigration cooperation advance your mission of protecting public safety? To help LEAs think through these questions, this article gathers and synthesizes the relevant empirical information and related research. Section II of this article describes the six models of LEA cooperation in more detail, explaining the historical, legal, and technological context of each model's development. Section II develops a framework to assist LEAs in choosing among the cooperation models. In asking the questions above, this section also analyzes the relevant empirical research and information. The article ends with some concluding thoughts for LEAs as they consider their options.
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