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Police in name only?

In a time when the Trump administration continues to ratchet up raids and deportation efforts targeting undocumented immigrants, the simple act of knocking on the door of a home strikes fear in residents. Those on the other side are fearful that the police are poised to arrest them.

But, are they “police” in name (on their uniform) only?

After reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol agents wearing police uniforms during undocumented immigrant raids, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are taking action to stop the practice.

House members cite multiple accounts of agents posing as police during raids to convince undocumented immigrants to open the doors of their homes and let them in. From there, agents make their arrests.

Democrats have introduced a bill that, if passed, federal immigration agents could no longer have the word “police” on their apparel during raids.

Lawmakers claim that the legislation is meant to improve police relations with minority communities in New York. Immigration advocates and members of some local law enforcement agencies allege that the practice makes it more difficult for local police to prosecute serious crimes. They believe that communities are less safe when locals are fearful of engaging with police and report crimes.

While backed by immigration advocates and the Service Employees International Union, the bill is not likely to pass in a Republican-controlled house. Still the proposal is receiving praise in trying to restart trust building while stopping what they consider warrantless searches.

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