On Tuesday January 31, 2017, PLEA sent a letter to Mayor Greg Stanton expressing our strong disagreement and disappointment with recent public remarks he made on January 25th with regard to President Trump’s Executive Orders. For far too long, law enforcement officers in America have had to put up with anti-police sentiment at all levels of government. At the national level our federal partners in ICE and Border Patrol have had to work under government imposed restrictions that have hindered their ability to effectively perform their jobs to adequately protect the nation.
Over the years, the City of Phoenix has lost numerous officers and had several others injured as a result of open border and sanctuary city policies that facilitate ease of unlawful entry into the country. As one of four border states, Arizona sees high amounts of human trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and higher rates of violent crime that typically accompany this type of activity.
Mayor Stanton’s comments with regard to turning the Phoenix Police Department into a mass deportation force is baseless and inflammatory. The Phoenix Police Department has a sound, detailed, well written policy in its Operations Orders regarding enforcement of illegal immigration. Despite what politicians may think or want, police officers have to uphold their oaths of office and operate according to the rule of law. Presidential Executive Orders are federal law that cannot be disregarded simply because they do not comport with someone’s political agenda.
PLEA has great respect for Mayor Stanton’s right to publicly express his opinion. Likewise; PLEA also has the right to publicly express our opinions and stand in defense of our membership.