MADISON, Wis. - The Madison Police Department was invited to participate in a discussion on immigration reform in Washington, D.C.
Assistant Police Chief Randy Gaber went to the White House to discuss immigration reform and pending legislation, which is an important issue in Madison.
Police chiefs and sheriffs from large cities and counties across the country and high-ranking government officials participated in the discussion, according to a post written by Gaber.
"This was an excellent opportunity for the city of Madison and the Madison Police Department to be represented here as the many issues surrounding immigration affects all communities across the county, including ours," Gaber said in the post.
Several points that were made during the discussion include the fact that immigration laws need to comport with American values, trust needs to be promoted between the immigrant community and police, reform will help facilitate stopping the black market of illegal activity associated with illegal immigration, legal immigration needs to be streamlined, the country needs to continue to improve border security to ensure the safety of communities, law enforcement needs to hold employers who hire illegal immigrations accountable, and the country needs to make it possible for people to earn their citizenship.
"Politics often responsible for failed movement or unnecessary delays cannot hinder us at the local level from completing our mission of providing high quality police services to all members of the community while treating all people with dignity and respecting individual and constitutional rights," Gaber said. "Our goal of keeping our community safe, improving the quality for our citizens and prioritizing our work to achieve these goals is more important to local law enforcement than enforcing civil immigration laws."
MPD's initiatives like Amigos En Azul, the Latino Youth Academy and Car Clinics, as well as the ongoing involvement and partnerships with Centro Hispano, La Movida radio and the Latino Professionals Association continue to put the department and employees in a good place to make positive connections in the community, officials said.
"There is no question that we serve our community better when we maintain our focus of community safety while engaging our citizens to be equal partners in this effort," Gaber said.