Rogers Mayor Steve Womack managed to break away from the ladies golf tournament yesterday to meet in private with his police chief and the Mexican consul. He promises Rogers cops won't raciallly profile when they get up and running as immigration enforcement officers. Right.
Questions for Womack and others who favor turning local police forces into Border Patrol agents:
Do our laws sufficiently cover jurisdiction? Can a state trooper (should, we hope not, the day of their deployment come) leave the highways to pursue a suspected Mexican yard man down a Rogers street? Can a Rogers cop chase someone into Fayetteville on a suspected immigration violation?
What will be the fallout of losing cops to rousting roofing crews and policing chicken plant gates? Surely they've been doing meaningful crime fighting, not just eating doughnuts. Surely other important jobs will be ignored.
When, inevitably, we learn that taking up federal government slack on immigration enforcement hurts local law enforcement, will Benton County taxpayers pay more to hire more cops? (See earlier posts on Benton County vis a vis library taxes and highway taxes.)
Finally, and most of all: Who's going to pay to build the holding facilities to house the illegals that the cops begin sweeping up? (See previous posts.)
It's easy to demagogue this issue, as Womack has so tirelessly and tiresomely done. Not so easy to find a fix. This is a federal issue, not likely to be helped -- and most likely hindered --by yahoos like Womack and the Hutchinsons who want to divert over-taxed State Police and local police resources to wetback roundups. It plays into -- ratifies really -- Bush's practice of pushing expensive responsibilities off on the states.