Criminals and Immigration

The tragic killings in Newark and the debate over illegal immigration that has followed show the need for quick and accurate determinations of individuals’ legal status in the United States. Although the federal government handles the immigration issue broadly, and local governments address specific, local crimes, there must be clear communications between these different levels of government. Illegal immigrants who enter the American judicial system should be held until their legal status is determined and, if necessary, the INS is notified. With a streamlined process for this kind of identification process, local governments can be more prepared to deal with these kinds of tragedies, and federal immigration officials will be able to catch those who are violating not only our criminal code, but also the immigration rules that govern our country. I applaud the actions taken by the New Jersey Attorney General to address this issue in a way that protects the rights of everyone involved and strikes the appropriate balance needed to finally get a handle on an important issue for the country.