Thankfully not all cities and states are taking such a hard-line approach. At the beginning of 2006, the mayor of New Haven, Conn., signed an order forbidding municipal police from enforcing federal immigration law or inquiring about any resident's citizenship.
The impact of the reform was immediate. In the first year that the policy was implemented, major crime fell by 18 percent in New Haven's immigrant neighborhood. In the world of police statistics, that kind of single-year drop is almost unheard of. The district commander attributes the drop to immigrants' willingness to work with police. "You do a lot of problem solving by having that trust with the community," he said.
Rhode Island's police do not seem worried about losing that trust though. Last week, the police chiefs association voted overwhelmingly to endorse Carcieri's reform. The president said the decision came after a "healthy discussion."
Why is it surprising that the people paid to enforce laws would want more of them, and that people paid to fight crime would want more of that?