Mr. Flores must have been reading my previous post regarding the impact on law enforcement in Arizona!
I am surprised he responded so quickly, especially to someone whom he only knew through presentations and meetings. This was his response:
From: Rick Flores (email deleted)
Good hearing from you!
Yes, I was aware about you’re accident; I was still in Laredo. I hope you’re doing fine, God is great.
And, yes, San Luis, AZ is a vibrant, exciting and beautiful growing city on the border. It’s not like other border cities in terms of trouble with cartel violence; we hope and pray it stays that way.
As for the immigration bill (SB 1070), most Hispanics/Latinos here, (San Luis, AZ) feel it’s racism. Many here comment that Arizona still has a long way to go regarding discrimination towards Hispanics/Latinos. Ironically, San Luis, AZ – Yuma County, produce approximately 75% of all the frozen vegetables to the U.S.
As for how SB 1070 will affect our department, it’s simple, it’s an unfunded mandate; it’s not going to help! The state of Arizona is asking us to perform additional duties that Federal law enforcement already perform – and they get paid for doing that!
Don’t get me wrong, we work and assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a second line of defense. Any time we apprehend people violating state laws (i.e. trespassing, criminal mischief etc..) and we see that they’re undocumented, we call CBP and they take them away to process.
My questions are, how do we define “reasonable suspicion or probable cause to articulate whether they’re here illegally?” If they’re brown, dark hair, wearing a soccer shirt with the logo of Corona Beer, drinking a Topo-Chico mineral water and speaking Spanish, would that constitute reasonable suspicion or probable cause?
We’re not trained to look for those tell(tale) signs that federal agents have been trained and most recent updates; latest technology/training – that identifies fake passports, ID’s and/or other fraudulent documents used to sneak their way across.
As municipal peace officers of San Luis, we have an obligation to protect and serve the residents of our city who pay us to serve them. I truly believe it wasn’t well thought out. In my opinion, the Republican Party (the party responsible for pushing this bill through and signed by Jan Brewer, Republican Governor) needed an issue to sound off the alarm that they’re still alive and well!
“We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement.” William Howard Taft
I strongly feel what President Taft stated above, legislators pass laws without any regard how it affects those who will apply the law.
I hope this will help you – please stay in touch,
Good luck, Mr. Flores, on your new position as Chief of Police for the border city of St. Luis, Arizona!