L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Still Gives ICE Access to Jails, and Watchdog Group Wants It to Stop

Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Chair Patricia Giggans, left, executive director Brian Williams, Vice Chair Priscilla Ocen and commissioner Casimiro Tolentino at a meeting of the panel on Nov. 15, 2018. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Chair Patricia Giggans, left, executive director Brian Williams, Vice Chair Priscilla Ocen and commissioner Casimiro Tolentino at a meeting of the panel on Nov. 15, 2018. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Members of a watchdog group signaled on Thursday they want the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to take more powerful steps to distance itself from the work of federal immigration enforcement agents.

A series of preliminary recommendations by the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission called for the department to bar jail access to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and stop honoring ICE’s requests to detain inmates, except when required by law.

Last year, 1,223 inmates released from the Los Angeles County jail system were transferred to ICE custody, according to the sheriff’s inspector general. The department spends an estimated $1.4 million a year on administrative expenses to evaluate ICE detainer requests, an amount that could instead be diverted to other projects, some members of the panel argued.

The recommendations, if adopted, would represent a hard-line stance against immigration enforcement in the spirit of “sanctuary” policies that gained momentum as a reaction against the immigration crackdown under the Trump administration.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.