The Los Angeles Police Department is no longer heeding federal immigration requests to hold inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms, unless a judge has vetted the request, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday alongside a cheering crowd of immigrant advocates.
“The federal government is in charge of enforcing federal immigration laws — not us at the local level,” Garcetti said. “And that responsibility can’t be forced onto local law enforcement officials who already
have stretched budgets.”
Los Angeles joins scores of other cities and counties that have stopped the practice after a federal court ruling in April. That ruling found that an Oregon county was liable for damages after holding an inmate beyond her release date so that she could be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Spurred by that ruling, Los Angeles officials decided to reexamine their approach to the federal requests earlier this year. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck declared that the new approach would foster the community’s trust in the police department, encouraging more people to report crimes.
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