I have written about this issue several times over the past several years. I follow it closely, because it is important in a city as diverse as ours.
A story in a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes some positive changes that have been made to a federal program that encourages local police departments to train some officers as immigration enforcement officers.
The most encouraging elements of the new program are safeguards and guidelines that will discourage racial and ethnic profiling, and the fact that the standards are uniform across the country, rather than department-by-department or state-by-state.
Here in the City, safe neighborhoods depend on a strong working partnership between the local police and community organizations. The St. Louis Police Department, which is not participating in the federal program, has worked diligently for years to gain the trust of the City’s strong and vibrant Bosnian, Hispanic, and Asian communities. It would have been a bad thing to undermine that effort with an ill-considered program that required them to check the legal status of every person they detain.