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The shooting death of a Phoenix cop two months ago by an illegal immigrant has now boiled over into what may turn out to be a change in official policy in Phoenix about questioning suspects on their legal status in this country.

For two decades the Phoenix police have operated under an order which forbids police officers from asking a person's immigration status, or holding a person for the sole purpose of figuring out his or her immigration status. But when Officer Nick Erfle was shot to death after stopping an illegal immigrant, the police department objected to the policy, and so did the public.

Now Democrat Mayor Phil Gordon has decided the policy must undergo a review with an eye to changing it.

New Jersey has done the same thing with the same policy, and Los Angeles is being sued to end the policy.

Officer Erfle's death has shifted public opinion in Phoenix and people suspected of being illegal immigrants may soon feel the effects.

Closing the border would be nice, but until then the ability of cops to inquire about legality would do a lot to stem an illegal immigration situation run amok.

It's absurd that cops are required to investigate all crimes except the crime of coming here illegally. It makes cops an accessory to a crime, and we shouldn't have that.

As for the politics of all this, imagine a Democrat clamping down on illegal immigration. That should send a shiver up the spine of those who expect one party — the Democrats — to aid illegals by looking the other way.

The party isn't over yet, but there are definite signs things are changing.

That's My Word.

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