Trust Between Law Enforcement and Communities Is Key to Public Safety

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Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Media Outlet: The Hill

Joshua Geltzer co-wrote for the Hill on the need for the Department of Justice to move away from policies that unjustly target immigrants and listen to community-based law-enforcement officials who are working to build trust in their communities:

What’s more, for the Justice Department to force undocumented immigrants into the shadows by squelching policies that foster community trust leaves those immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation. As they become increasingly reluctant to report crimes and cooperate with investigations and prosecutions, there will be more violence in the communities that law enforcement is charged with protecting.
This are the experiences of the law enforcement officials whose voices we’ve been working to amplify. It’s also a matter of statistics. One study of Latinos in four major cities found that 70 percent of undocumented immigrants and 44 percent of all Latinos are less likely to contact law enforcement authorities after being victimized by crime because they fear the police will ask them or people they know about immigration status, and 67 percent of undocumented immigrants and 45 percent of all Latinos are less likely to report or offer information about all other crimes because of the same fear.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.