Police Chief Tim Dolan hits AZ immigration law in D.C. trip

Categories: Immigration

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Photo: drcuervo
Not what Dolan and Rybak want in Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police Chief Tom Dolan is wading further into the debate over Arizona's controversial new antiimmigrant law. He was among a gathering of nine top cops from around the nation who met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to speak out against the law, and efforts by hardliners to pass similar legislation in other states.

Hardliners including Minnesota GOP state Rep. Steve Drazkowski. He introduced a clone of the Arizona law earlier in May.

Dolan and St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington denounced Drazkowski's bill, and urged lawmakers and citizens alike to join them.

In D.C., Dolan told reporters that the law will scare immigrants away from calling 911 to report child abuse situations and other issues. "We know for a fact that those people won't [call], and it will start from there," he said.

Arizona's law requires the police to arrest anyone -- citizen or not -- they suspect of being in the country illegally and who can't provide proof of legal residency or citizenship on demand.

"Laws like this are put forward as a public safety issue, but they are not a public safety solution," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck toldCBS News. "These laws will actually increase crime, not decrease crime. Witnesses won't come forward."

The Los Angels Times reports that the DOJ is considering two challenges to the Arizona law, one asserting that it's unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government's authority to police the nation's borders, and the other because it amounts to racial profiling of Latinos who are legally in Arizona.

"The U.S. attorney general listened to us -- we had a great conversation -- but he was not committal," Beck said. "His task is to announce his plans to the American people, not necessarily to this group. I think that we influenced him, but we will see."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have joined a growing chorus of mayors and state governments chastising the Arizona law and urging travel boycotts.

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