Criminal violations of immigration law such as undocumented entry into the United States are appropriately dealt with at, or near the point of entry, or by a federal warrant. Other deplorable offenses, such as overstaying a work, educational, or special visa, are considered civil violations and not criminal offenses.
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) has the responsibility and authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Their officers are uniquely prepared for this law enforcement responsibility due to their special training in dealing with the complexities and fine distinctions of immigration laws.
Therefore, officers of the Tulsa Police Department will not stop, detain, question or arrest any person solely on the basis that the individual might have unlawfully entered this country or exceeded his/her authorization to remain in the United States. Furthermore, officers shall not enforce the provisions of federal immigration law either by arrest or by placing holds on persons suspected of being undocumented aliens. This policy applies to situations where immigration status is brought to an officer’s attention either in the context of an arrest, during a criminal investigation, or otherwise.
If, during the course of an investigation, an officer obtains reasonable suspicion that an individual possesses, or should possess immigration credentials such as a visa, passport, alien registration card, or any other official documentation issued by the BCIS, the officer may request such documentation for identification purposes only.
I’m just cynical enough to wonder how much of this is wanting to avoid trespassing on BCIS’ turf these are Federal laws, after all and how much of it is wanting to avoid confrontation with open-borders advocates.
On the upside, now we know that overstaying one’s student visa is “deplorable.”