U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles said Thursday that non-cooperation from local law enforcement continues to impede its efforts to put undocumented immigrants facing criminal charges in federal custody.
The agency said that state and local “sanctuary” policies result in the release of hundreds of immigrants back into the local community after their arrests for alleged criminal activity.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva have made clear that they will not cooperate with ICE and will not turn over undocumented immigrants to the federal agency.
“Regardless of your immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know your city is on your side,” Garcetti has tweeted. “Here in Los Angeles, our police department does not coordinate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement.”
ICE Acting Director Tony H. Pham said that such policies “create an irresponsible safe harbor for criminal aliens who seek to prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities. Immigration enforcement is about applying the law.”
Immigration detainers serve as a legally authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely, to continue to maintain custody of an immigrant for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody for removal purposes. Pursuant to policy, all ICE detainers are submitted with an accompanying administrative arrest warrant or warrant of removal depending upon the circumstances of the individual case, according to the agency.
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