Diehl Says Warren Soft on Immigration, Cops

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/10/11/diehl-says-warren-soft-on-immigration-cops/

The federal government should withhold funds to law enforcement agencies in cities and towns where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl said.

Diehl acknowledged that federal courts have ruled that the federal government can’t withhold all federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities and states, and he also identified himself as a federalist who believes in states’ rights.

“But, in my opinion, if there are state or federal grants to law enforcement agencies of cities where they’re not working with federal officials, I think you have every right to withhold those grants,” Diehl said in an interview Wednesday with New Boston Post.

Diehl said it’s appropriate for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to expect cooperation from state and local police departments.

“To me, in this case, protecting the integrity of immigration is a federal issue. And that’s why federal agencies like ICE are critical, to have them work in partnership with state law enforcement,” Diehl said.

Diehl, a state representative from Whitman, appeared outside Brockton District Court to tout endorsements he has been getting from law enforcement unions and officials – particularly since U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called the criminal justice system “racist … I mean front to back” during an appearance August 3 at a historically black college in Louisiana.

On August 9 Warren offered context for her description of the criminal justice system when asked by a questioner about it during an appearance at Fitchburg State University:

“This wasn’t about individuals. I didn’t call any individual anything. What I was talking about is a system that has a lot of good people in it, a lot of people – law enforcement officers, judges, public defenders — who by golly have dedicated their lives to getting out there to try to build a justice system that works, and who themselves have come forward and said, ‘This system needs reform. It needs significant reform’.”

Diehl said law enforcement officers in Massachusetts haven’t been satisfied by Warren’s explanation.

“There were attempts, I think, by her to try to walk it back, but clearly, from the endorsements that we’ve been receiving there really is nobody who believes that she wasn’t writing a blanket indictment on everybody,” Diehl told New Boston Post. “… Nobody’s buying her excuse that she was just talking about a select few people. When she said ‘front to back,’ she meant that everybody involved with criminal justice acts in a way that is prejudiced.”

Diehl said Warren’s description is wrong.

“The people I know that serve on the front lines, they’re just trying to uphold the law of the land, protect our borders, protect our communities, and I think it was a big slap in the face to everybody that’s putting their lives on the line to take care of the citizens of our state,” Diehl said.

He touted the endorsement Wednesday of the Plymouth County correctional officers’ union, saying Warren’s actions have helped drive law enforcement officers into his camp.

“Warren’s continued to show that she doesn’t have the backs of law enforcement, she wants to abolish ICE, and she’s for open borders. In baseball parlance, that’s three strikes and you’re out,” Diehl said.

A spokesman for Warren could not immediately be reached for comment.

John Mazzie, a sergeant with the Everett Police Department, appeared at Diehl’s press conference in downtown Brockton on Wednesday afternoon. He said the patrolmen’s union and the police supervisors’ union in Everett both endorsed Diehl in August, which he said he believes is the first time the unions ever endorsed a candidate for U.S. Senate.

He keyed in on Warren’s statement that the criminal justice system is “racist … front the back.”

“We took that as meaning us, all the officers out in the street trying to, you know, protect and serve. A lot of people were angry with that statement, and I think it was just a statement from a public official that should have never have happened,” Mazzie said. “… To label officers like that —  it’s a tough job as it is, and not to get any support from your public officials, you know, that’s not right.”

Art Kelley, a retired Arlington patrolman and former patrolmen union president in the town, praised his former colleagues on the force and said Warren’s comment in early August was out of line.

He also questioned Warren’s commitment to the state given her apparent interest in running for president.

“I don’t think she really cares about Massachusetts. I think she’s more concerned with running in 2020,” Kelley said.