“Class is back in session,” tucson.com reports. “But students in Tucson middle and high schools will have to wait a little longer for police in the city’s newly restored School Resource Officer program to join them on campus. The City Council delayed approving an agreement with Tucson Unified and Amphitheater school districts Tuesday night over concerns about officers asking students about their immigration status.” While the chances of a spree killer attacking any given school are lottery-level small, the AZ school district’s reticence is still an outrage. For you and me, who see nothing wrong with asking students if they’re undocumented (especially if the student is disruptive or violent) and for PC pols, who have no respect whatsoever for the rule of law. For example . . .
Councilwoman Regina Romero blasted the city attorney and police chief Tuesday night, accusing them of defying council orders by failing to include a provision in the agreement explicitly forbidding police officers to ask students about their immigration status under any circumstance.
Romero said the council was clear on that point when it voted in July to add school resource officers — which the city didn’t have at the time — to a city policy limiting when police can ask anyone about their immigration status.
However, a transcript of the July meeting is less than clear.
While it shows Romero moved to prohibit any questioning of students, she also explains the motion is linked to a November council policy to prohibit any police officers from questioning students without a parent, guardian or attorney present, which is now TPD policy.
Council members were told in both November and July a total prohibition would be illegal.
Luckily, the local police do respect legal boundaries.
Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor told Romero again Tuesday that he couldn’t order his officers to break a law, regardless of how unpopular it is.
“There were clear statements made that day that we cannot require officers to neglect their lawful duty,” Villaseñor said, reminding the council of the July discussion.
“As the chief of police, I’m obligated by charter to provide for public safety and have full control over the Police Department. I do not agree to implement an order that requires me to violate the law. This type of directive requires me to violate the law. And I will not do it,” he said.
The Council eventually resolved the “crisis” by drafting and approving new rules that mandate that School Resource Officers can’t ask a student their immigration status unless ” it is directly relevant to an investigation.” Whatever that means. Councilwoman Romero, the sole vote against the revision, explained her reasoning.
“A parent should not stay at home or go to work and have any doubt in their mind that their child is going to get deported when they go to school,” Romero said. “This questioning should never happen at schools.”
Maybe so. Maybe not. But holding up SRO deployment to protect illegal immigrants from facing the legal consequences of an illegal act strikes me as perverse on a number of levels. You?