The Honorable Paul D. Ryan Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin O. McCarthy Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy P. Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
Minority Whip
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Speaker and Representatives McCarthy, Pelosi and Hoyer,

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to reiterate the FOP’s opposition to any amendment or piece of legislation that would penalize law enforcement agencies by withholding Federal funding or resources from law enforcement assistance programs in an effort to coerce a policy change at the local level. The House will consider H.R. 3003 on the floor this week and Section 2 of this bill would restrict the hiring program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) programs, as well as programs administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The FOP has been very clear on this issue: we strongly believe that local and State law enforcement agencies should cooperate with their Federal counterparts. That being said, withholding needed assistance to law enforcement agencies – which have no policymaking role – also hurts public safety efforts

Local police departments answer to local civilian government and it is the local government which enacts statutes and ordinances in their communities. Law enforcement officers have no more say in these matters than any other citizen and – with laws like the Hatch Act in place – it can be argued they have less. Law enforcement officers do not get to pick and choose which laws to enforce, and must carry out lawful orders at the direction of their commanders and the civilian government that employs them. It is unjust to penalize law enforcement and the citizens they serve because Congress disagrees with their enforcement priorities with respect to our nation’s immigration laws.