President-elect Donald Trump has promised to crack down on federal immigration laws and facilitate deportations across the country, but Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said on Nov. 14 that his police department is not going to be taking part.
“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
The LAPD does not currently work with the federal government to enforce immigration policies and has not done so since former Chief Daryl Gates signed a mandate in 1979 banning officers from approaching people solely to check on their immigration status. The police department also does not hand over people arrested for small crimes to deportation agents and frequently avoids detaining inmates long enough to deport them upon requests from the federal government. Those convicted of burglary, assault, sexual abuse, felony drunk driving and other serious crimes are the only ones that the officers typically send to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“This is the same LAPD you had Monday, a week ago,” Beck added. “We have not changed because of the election on Tuesday. We have the same principles. We have the same values. This is not going to change the way that the Los Angeles Police Department enforces the law.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti backed Beck and promised that city police officers would not “go around asking people for their papers,” saying that it is “not the role of local law enforcement.”
“If the first day, as president, we see something that is hostile to our people, hostile to our city, bad for our economy, bad for our security, we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out,” Garcetti added.
During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to “end” so-called sanctuary cities like Los Angeles, which do not cooperate with federal authorities to facilitate deporting undocumented immigrants, notes CNN.
“Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities,” the president-elect said in August.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, CNN / Photo Credit: Eric Garcetti/Flickr