The tough new immigration law in Arizona would force police to question suspected illegal immigrants. But LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and a number of other law enforcement leaders from around the country said Wednesday that similar laws in their states would lead to an increase in crime.
The police chiefs met with Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C., and told him such laws would break down the trust that police have built in communities and will divert law enforcement resources away from fighting crime.
If that happens, "We will be unable to do our jobs," said Beck. "Laws like this will actually increase crime, not decrease crime."
On Monday, the FBI reported that both violent crime and property crime dropped dramatically last year, a trend the police chiefs said could be imperiled if immigration is added to law enforcement's responsibilities.