Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to prevent local law enforcement departments in Michigan from working with federal law enforcement agents. Specifically, Nessel wants to curb, if not eliminate, cooperation with the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.

Nessel is now positioning Michigan to support a case involving the state of New Jersey which is embroiled in legal action surrounding that very issue. New Jersey wants to curb cooperative efforts with ICE and two counties are pursuing action to keep those avenues open. A dozen and a half other states are joining the case. All but two, Maryland and Massachusetts, are run by Democratic administrations.

All the states involved contend that allowing local law enforcement departments to cooperate with ICE detracts from important law enforcement work that needs to be done. Michigan AG Nessel’s media release says that kind of cooperation prevents local departments from being able to protect their  “...immigration and limited English proficiency communities from crime.”

In other words, people who do not have legal immigration standing in America, may not want to talk with local police if they think that contact might lead to immigration enforcement action. It’s a touchy subject and one that has more political underpinnings, than a law enforcement foundation. “States have a responsibility to enact laws that protect public safety and build trust among all communities within their borders,” Nessel said. “Individuals are far less likely to report a crime or cooperate with law enforcement if they fear being turned over to immigration authorities. Limiting participation by local governments and municipalities in federal immigration enforcement promotes the trust needed to keep our communities safe.”

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