PHOENIX, Ariz. — There is concern among Phoenix police officers that proposed changes by the city’s police department to restrict officers from contacting immigration authorities will lead to an explosion in gang violence similar to the one that gripped the city in the 80’s and 90’s.

In recent weeks, Phoenix officials have been discussing changing the city’s Police Operation Orders with a revision that would not allow officers to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during traffic stops or investigations, Breitbart Texas reported. Before an officer can contact ICE, they “must first contact the Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) desk Sergeant who will document all immigration related data and give authority to call ICE.”  Currently, officers have the discretion to call ICE or any federal law enforcement agency while carrying out investigations or during traffic stops. Other policy changes point to a softening view on immigration by the department under pressure from city leaders.

Current and former Phoenix cops who spoke with Breitbart Texas have revealed their concerns about how such a soft stance could have serious repercussions on the levels of crime in the city.

Due to years of neglect of enforcing our immigration laws and a steady flow of illegal aliens pouring across our virtually unprotected southern border, the street gang dynamics changed drastically in the late 80’s and 90’s in Phoenix. Many factors contributed to the changes but one of the most noticeable during this time was the emergence of illegal alien street gangs that took hold and eventually became the largest and some of the most violent in the city.

Phoenix began documenting gang activity in the late 1970sand in 1986, the emergence of Hispanic gangs made up of illegal aliens became a concern for authorities. Just east of the center area of downtown, in what is known as the Mexican-American barrios, authorities began to document the organization of street gangs made up of illegal immigrants.

The first gang that rose from that area took up the name “Mojado Power,” a derogatory term for illegal aliens from Mexico meaning “wet”. They primarily organized to protect their members from traditional Mexican American (Chicano) street gangs. Due to cultural differences, the traditional Mexican-American gangs would not accept the illegal aliens and would initially victimize them. Over time, the “Mojado Power” gang changed its name to “Wetback Power” or “WBP.”

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(File photo)