TCJC is continually concerned with the intersection of criminal justice, our economy/taxpayer dollars, and public safety. Criminalizing non-citizens because of their legal status is counter-productive, costly, and unsustainable, and implications of further anti-immigration policy will negatively impact Texas for years to come.
Why is the criminalization of non-citizens counter-productive?
- It erodes the relationship between peace officers and neighborhoods, causing a negative ripple effect in Texas communities that undermines public safety for all Texans, especially by discouraging victims from reporting crimes out of fear of their own or their loved ones’ deportation.
Why is the criminalization of non-citizens costly and unsustainable?
- Policies that require local law enforcement to target non-citizens because of their legal status drain already strained resources, including funding, manpower, and time.
- Such policies also undermine local control by police executives who must have the ability to prioritize their crime-fighting strategies on the prevention of violent offenses, for the good of public safety.
- A rise in immigration screenings among detainees could push large Texas jails back over capacity. Overcrowding in Texas jails leads to substandard and sometimes unconstitutional jail conditions, which may lead to expensive litigation.