Licencia y Registro Por Favor

A couple of years ago I was pulled over on way to the office by a cop who resembled an extra from a Sabado Gigante skit. He crept up on me with his hand on his gun and when he got to the window, he asked for my license and registration in broken English. I was tempted to just drive away, thinking it was some sort of new way of car jacking. But, the middle of the afternoon in a business park is not time for car jacking.

Eventually, my weak Spanish and his poor English allowed us to communicate. He was, in fact, a local cop doing traffic duty. I guess they figured having a Spanish speaker was necessary. I think he forgot what he was doing or simply got confused, but he handed me back my stuff and I went on my way without him telling me why he pulled me over.

It looks I was encountering a new trend.

Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap.

Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.

At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it’s time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That’s why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.

Department spokesman Don Aaron said they want immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for service.

“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans,” he said. “We feel that … would benefit both the country and this city.”

Current rules vary across departments.

Some, like the Chicago and Hawaii police departments, allow any immigrant with a work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to become an officer. That means people in the country on temporary visas or are applying for green cards can join.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Justin Mullins said the department usually struggles to fill trooper positions in less populous corners of the state, including patrol sectors high up in the mountains. He said immigrants from Canada, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America who are willing to live in those remote places have helped the agency fill those vacancies.

“People that want to live there and build a family there and work there is a little more difficult to find,” Mullins said. “People moving from out of state, or out of the country, if they’re willing to work in these areas, then that’s great for us.”

This will not end well.

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UKer
UKer
5 years ago

It wouldn’t be unreasonable for people who want to be part of a new country to be willing to play a part in its security. A small part, perhaps, but a part nonetheless. I am fully aware that, as an Englishman, the UK is assailed by all sorts of people from the freedom-loving cornucopia known as the EU (our pickpockets come from places like Romania and beggars from Bulgaria, just to add more vibrancy to our little patch of earth) and a lot of them I wouldn’t trust with a spanner let alone a permit to arrest people. But, I… Read more »

ed in texas
ed in texas
5 years ago

So, an immigrant with incomplete language skills is supposed to understand the confusing jumble of laws the police deal with?
I smell fresh lawsuits cooking.

The Z Blog
The Z Blog
5 years ago

One of the enduring features of Rousseau-ist cults is they never think through the logistics of their latest schemes. Allegedly, the reason for bringing in scads of foreigners is to augment the workforce. That’s about as far as they get. They never think about all the problems that arise from importing a culturally and linguistically distinct minority and then packing them into a slum. They never stop to wonder why their preferred solutions were rejected in the past. They just start from the base assumption that they are not just right, but they are on the side of angels. As… Read more »

el baboso
Member
Reply to  The Z Blog
5 years ago

I always recommend Tom Wolfe’s “Great Relearning” on this subject.

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmSpectator-1987dec-00014

Dan Kurt
Dan Kurt
Member
5 years ago

Mr. Z,

A “friend” sent me this article http://www.nationalmemo.com/5-obama-successes-republicans-have-to-pretend-never-happened/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=MM_frequency_six&utm_campaign=Morning%20Memo%20-%202015-03-23. That 50% of the USA and growing believe this really will end poorly. Foreign born cops are among the least of America’s problems. The ship of state itself has been holed and is capsizing.

Dan Kurt

el baboso
Member
5 years ago

This will not end well.

I had the same thought just before 911 when passing through the Miami airport, I realized that the contract security guard I was dealing with didn’t speak English. I switched to my pidgin Spanish and things went smoothly.

I understand you are talking about much bigger issues than a simple tactical breakdown in security like what happened in 2001. But this also begs the question if the massive Federal hiring scheme known as the TSA is hurting police recruitment, especially in big cities.