Police Chief Chris Magnus

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus.

Chris Magnus, Tucson’s police chief, criticized the Trump administration’s effort to target sanctuary cities, saying in an opinion piece published in the New York Times this week that it’s short-sighted and makes fighting crime harder.

Threats to cut funding for cities deemed “Sanctuary Cities” — or those, like Tucson, that have immigrant-friendly policies — makes undocumented immigrant victims fear police will turn them over to immigration authorities, Magnus writes. And that fear, the chief contends, means immigrants will be less likely to call on police for help.

“…the changes (Trump’s Justice Department) wants to make — to force local police officers to cooperate much more closely with federal immigration authorities — will compromise public safety by reducing community confidence in law enforcement,” Magnus writes.

He said police departments like TPD already cooperate with federal agencies to “go after drug cartels, human traffickers and transnational gangs.”

“It’s a simple formula,” Magnus writes. “When crimes go unreported and unsolved, criminals are empowered.”