Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Undocumented Worker Or Illegal Alien

A bank robber is not an “aggressive borrower.” A drug dealer is not an “unlicensed pharmacist.” A criminal street gang is not “a wayward youth group.” Describing criminal activity in this manner demonstrates a disconnect from the reality faced by front-line police officers. In the same way, an illegal alien that murders a police officer is not an “undocumented worker involved in a tragic accident.” The Maricopa County Attorney described it as 2nd Degree Murder. Bank robbers, drug dealers, street gangs, and illegal aliens have two things in common: all are engaged in criminal activity and all can be dangerous to Phoenix Police Officers and the citizens of Phoenix.

The following chart of Phoenix Police Officers demonstrates that minimizing, excusing, or justifying illegal immigration has a cost.

KilledSeriously Injured/Assaulted
Officer Ken Collings – 1988Officer Brian Wilbur – 1997
Officer Marc Atkinson – 1999Officer Jason Schecterle – 2001
Officer Nick Erfle – 2007Officer Robert Sitek – 2003
Officer Shane Figueroa – 2008Officer Brett Glidewell – 2007


To describe the murder of Officer Shane Figueora as a “tragic accident involving an undocumented worker” inaccurately portrays the dangers linked with illegal immigration.

Shane was murdered by an illegal alien – a criminal who was a multiple crosser, deported in 2004, with no less than 4 outstanding warrants. Because the Phoenix Police Department routinely utilizes zero-tolerance enforcement strategies in combating prostitution, narcotics, gangs, and DUI, it seems unwarranted when the same proactive strategy utilized by MCSO is criticized. Addressing the crime of illegal immigration at a lower level before it spins out of control is consistent with a pro-active policing philosophy. It seems to make more sense to contact an illegal alien over a broken taillight than over the broken body of a Phoenix Police officer.

Our borders need to be a top priority of the federal government. Aggressive prosecution in the fashion of the Maricopa County Attorney’s office needs to be the norm. In addition to this, a consistent proactive illegal immigration strategy from city to city, county to county, and state to state is a crucial foundation in increasing deterrence and decreasing the dangers associated with illegal immigration.

CLICK HERE to read the Oct. 29, 2008, Arizona Republic editorial by Laurie Roberts.