I was proud to see Tucson represented in a prominent op-ed editorial in the Thursday edition of the New York Times. Chris Magnus, our city police chief, writes about recent efforts of the Justice Department to meddle in local policing by holding back funding to cities that don’t buy into the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant stance. As Magnus convincingly writes, the number one priority of local police must be public safety.

When large portions of the public are afraid to report crimes because of their immigration status, “criminals are empowered.” According to Magnus, our police department cooperates “with federal authorities to go after drug cartels, human traffickers and transnational gangs.” It is not, however, in the business of checking everyone’s immigration documents. The message to everyone should be we are “first and foremost there to protect them.”

Tom Speer

West side

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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