L.A. County Sheriff Villanueva Says He Will Remove Immigration Agents From Jails

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The new Los Angeles County sheriff has said he is going to remove federal immigration agents from the county’s jails.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a Board of Supervisors meeting this week that he also plans to further limit the crimes that lead jail authorities to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We are going to physically remove ICE from the county jails,” Villanueva told the board Tuesday during a forum on a California law aimed at increasing transparency surrounding police collaboration with immigration agents.

Villanueva won an upset victory in last month’s election to run the nation’s largest sheriff’s department. During his campaign, the retired sheriff’s lieutenant said he would remove immigration agents from the jails.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Sheriff’s Cmdr. Elier Morejon said the department will continue transferring inmates who committed more serious crimes to immigration authorities.

Morejon said authorities are working on the logistics of how those transfers will take place and are evaluating the department’s policy of publishing online the release dates of all inmates — including immigrants who are wanted by federal agents for deportation.

About 1,200 inmates were transferred to ICE in 2017, he said.

An ICE spokeswoman declined to comment on the proposed changes.

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