An open letter to the privileged Texas Senator I heard on NPR today.
You are not very bright, sir. The NPR story was about a Texas county sheriff who has taken the position that she won’t turn anyone over to ICE unless the agency had a warrant, and that her doing so it would make her communities less safe. You ridiculed that idea, saying that “protecting people who are breaking the law so other people won’t break the law” lacks any type of logic. I could hear the sneer in your voice.
Leaving aside your mansplaining (you are telling an experienced sheriff how to do her job, and what will and won’t make her county safer) and the constitutional issues (the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement, and the Bill of Rights generally, protect all people in this country: citizen, green card holder, undocumented persons), she is right on the money that over-aggressive enforcement is an invitation to crime.
Say you have several arrests like the domestic violence taken from inside a courtroom by ICE, or the DACA kid arrested at his home. Before long, people without papers will refuse to contact law enforcement when they are the victims of a crime. Abused women will stay with their abusers, victims of muggings will nurse their wounds in private.
The criminal element will recognize this, and start targeting “illegals.” Absent leaving a dead body somewhere, they will believe they can get away with just about any crime.
It won’t end with undocumented persons. Green card holders and citizens with names like Jimenez and Garcia will have a target on their backs as well. There are a depressing number of people in this country that assume that anyone with brown skin and a Latino surname must be in the country without papers. Some thugs will commit crimes of opportunity: Latinos might make good targets because they are less likely to go to the cops. It would be foxes picking off hens for whom seeking protection is not an option.
But others… others see that brown skin and are looking for a reason to “Make America Great Again” by beating the crap out of the “illegals” they irrationally blame for many of the perceived problems the country faces. Believing that their victims are not going to go to the cops makes their “job” all the easier.
Vigilanteism is a nasty, nasty business, sir.
You fail to grasp all of this. But then again, you’ve never been a target, have you? Bigots and white supremacists might look at your white skin and see, rationally or not, a potential ally. Simple thugs would know that attacking a powerful white man would let them in for a world of trouble. In any case, you’re going to be safe from predation.
It’s all the other people that need safeguarding. Unlike you, the sheriff of Travis county has enough brains to recognize that.
And, unlike you, she cares.