Local authorities may finally enforce the law
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison wants to expand the responsibilities of local and other law enforcement to rounding up illegal immigrants.
Hutchison plans to propose legislation today that would allow local officials to arrest and detain illegal immigrants for immigration violations.
She also planned to propose a program that allows states to license officers, marshals and F-B-I agents who want to volunteer.
Using local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws has been a divisive issue among law enforcement officers.
Some want the authority to enforce immigration laws. Others say they don't have the resources to do so. They also say doing so hurts their ability to investigate crimes involving the immigrant community or that may have been witnessed by immigrants.
Alabama, Florida and Los Angeles County have federal approval to train civilian law enforcement so they can arrest suspected illegal immigrants.