The police chief for America’s second-largest city has said he will not enforce any immigration policies established by a President Donald Trump.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that his department will not change its stance on immigration enforcement – Trump, however, has promised to toughen federal laws and deport millions of criminal illegal aliens.
“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
The LAPD has been at odds with federal immigration policies for decades. Los Angeles is a “sanctuary city,” meaning the city does not follow federal guidelines that call for illegal immigrants who arrested for misdemeanors to be turned over to ICE for deportation.
One of Trump’s major promises was to end “sanctuary cities,” going so far as to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that do not comply.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti took a similar stance at a Friday meeting of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, where he said the city would challenge Trump’s immigration policies, The Washington Examiner is reporting.
“If the first day, as president, we see something that is hostile to our people, hostile to our city, bad for our economy, bad for our security, we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out,” Garcetti said.
The Los Angeles Police Department is banned from initiating contact with a person specifically to determine immigration status. This is a directive initiated by then-chief Daryl Gates in 1979, Chief Beck said the policy will continue.
“This is the same LAPD you had Monday, a week ago. We have not changed because of the election on Tuesday. We have the same principles. We have the same values,” Beck said. “This is not going to change the way that the Los Angeles Police Department enforces the law.”
“Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don’t go around asking people for their papers, nor should they,” he said. “That’s not the role of local law enforcement.”
It’s no surprise that Los Angeles County is a heavily Democratic area. In the election last Tuesday, 71 percent of voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton versus 24 percent for Donald Trump.
LA County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jeff Scroggin said deputies who control the county will treat all residents the same, regardless their background.
“We just want people to come forward so we have a better community. It doesn’t matter whether they’re an immigrant or going through the process of citizenship,” Scroggin said. “Whatever it is, we want to hear from them. We don’t want them to not cooperate. It’s important to keep the community safe. We never ask about immigration status.”