San Gabriel Is Latest City to Withdraw From ICE Collaborations

Tonya Rios, left, joins other advocacy groups in front of City Hall in San Gabriel to express concerns about the San Gabriel Police Department's working with a subdivision of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Feb. 6, 2018. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Tonya Rios, left, joins other advocacy groups in front of City Hall in San Gabriel to express concerns about the San Gabriel Police Department's working with a subdivision of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Feb. 6, 2018. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

For the better part of a decade, a San Gabriel agency that bilked Chinese immigrant investors out of nearly $50 million operated in plain sight from a storefront in the front lobby of the bustling Hilton Hotel.

Their crimes came to light last year after a task force of San Gabriel police and federal immigration officials tracked transactions between Chinese and U.S. banks, conducted cross-border surveillance operations, launched an undercover stings and sought information from the Chinese government.

San Gabriel Valley police departments often use federal partnerships to tackle crimes like these — many of which target vulnerable new immigrants — because they lack the necessary resources, skills and technology to pursue them.

But the largely immigrant communities that they police are starting to protest these partnerships in the wake of aggressive, Trump-era immigration enforcement that has stoked widespread fears over deportations.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.