"What the hell do we do now?" a policy options analysis of state, local, and tribal law enforcement participation in immigration enforcement
Nelson, Jeffrey M.
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Many components come together to form not only the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but the larger homeland security enterprise across the country. State, local and tribal assets are part of the fabric of homeland security efforts, along with federal entities, in prevention, response and recovery. While immigration enforcement at the federal level was formally brought into DHS, state, local and tribal (SLT) enforcement agencies are potential partners in that effort, as pointed out in the 9/11 Commission Report. This thesis outlines some of the legal authorities for the use of local agencies, the diversity of approach and opinion in these efforts, and a cross-section of agency policies and SLT ordinances that direct enforcement efforts. Using a Policy Options analysis framework, SLT agency policies were examined and evaluated in five areas: effectiveness, legality, acceptability, efficiency, and implementation. Based on this research, it is apparent that not only is there a disparity of opinion and approach to immigration enforcement, there is a lack of any policy at all for a majority of agencies. Recommendations for enforcement efforts include not only the importance of forming a policy but doing so in a collaborative way, including federal, SLT and community partners.
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