Advocates Urge LAPD to Do More to Distance Itself From Federal Immigration Enforcement

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Since Donald Trump was elected president in November, Los Angeles police officials have sought to assure the public that deporting immigrants is not their job.

L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck attends a special Police Commission meeting on May 16, 2017, to hear testimony from immigrant rights advocates and discuss LAPD policies towards immigrants. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In media interviews and dozens of community meetings, Chief Charlie Beck and others have pointed to Special Order 40, a 1979 city directive that prohibits police officers from initiating contact with a person to ask about immigration status.

But at a Police Commission meeting Tuesday devoted to immigration, immigrant rights advocates urged the Los Angeles Police Department to do more to distance itself from federal immigration enforcement.

They suggested measures such as a new policy against biased policing and a halt to sharing data with federal authorities. The meeting comes at a time when the Trump administration’s threats to increase deportations have made some immigrants afraid to leave the house, advocates said.