Salt Lake City officials will not enforce new federal immigration policies. Mayor Jackie Biskupski said Thursday, confusion is no way to govern and fear is no way to police. And she says that’s exactly what President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration will do.
President Donald Trump signed two executive orders Wednesday-one calling for the construction of a wall along the U.S., Mexico border and another to deny funding to cities that shield undocumented immigrants from deportation. But at a press conference Thursday, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski added Salt Lake City to ranks of other U.S. cities that are pushing back on that order.
“Salt Lake City Police Department has a long-standing practice against officers inquiring about the immigration status of those they come in contact with on a day to day basis,” Biskupski said. “This practice is central to our community policing model and will remain unchanged.”
Biskupski said the city will not authorize city police to perform the functions of immigration officers. She said injecting the fear of deportation into the community, will result in unreported crimes like domestic violence and the criminal exploitation of undocumented residents.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said residents need to have trust in their police officers.
“If police officers were forced to detect and detain immigrants who are here without authorization, this trust is easily broken,” Brown said. “It inappropriately injects bias into our profession and makes the compassionate services provided by police officers daily, less legitimate.
Biskupski added national leaders should be helping cities build bridges, not walls and improve local communities, not divide them.