Lou Dobbs: Pawlenty's friend in the national media
Most afternoons I turn my TV over to Lou Dobbs, which is the only time I ever watch CNN.
In the past two weeks, illegal imigration has been a constant topic of his, with Gov. Pawlenty being on at least twice in as many weeks. On Pawlenty's most recent appearance, this past Wednesday, Dobbs helped to promote Gov. Pawlenty's plan.
Dobbs also took Minneapolis Police Chief William McManus to task for not properly enforcing the law.
DOBBS: You say that laws exist in the city, you'll follow them. How about the laws that exist in federal government, which, let me just -- are you familiar with Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996?
MCMANUS: I'm -- no, I'm not familiar with it.
DOBBS: Because it's important because you want to enforce the laws that are on the books. That law says, notwithstanding any other provision of federal, state or local law. A federal, state or local government entity or official may not prohibit or in any way restrict any government entity or official from sending to or receiving from Immigration and Naturalization Service, information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.
You're not aware of that, but that's federal law. And that trumps your folks there that run your city council, and it trumps your state in point in fact.
MCMANUS: Lou, for any local municipality to arbitrarily check the immigration status of any individual in the street there is nothing short of profiling. And it would also setback ...
DOBBS: Whoa, whoa, chief. Let me be clear because you constructed what I said. And what I'm saying is the law says that if you have a responsibility to determine the citizenship of any citizen you bring into charges under criminal law.
MCMANUS: Lou, we've not been -- local law enforcement's not been trained in those laws and I disagree with it.
Now, let me say that for local law enforcement to try to enforce INS laws or ICE laws now would be a major setback if our relationships and trusts that we've built over the years with immigrant communities.
DOBBS: All right, chief, I understand your view there but let me quote to you from the Vienna Convention, in point of fact, which is another treaty, which requires simply straightforwardly that you have a responsibility. That law enforcement officers and all government officials have a responsibility that when any person is charged with a crime in this country who is a foreign citizen, you have to inform or respond that council or embassy in the nation of which that person is a citizen. So we are violating law on two levels here. (Source: Lou Dobbs Tonight, Jan. 11, 2006)