Mayor Eric Garcetti escalated Los Angeles’ confrontation with the incoming Trump Administration Monday over immigration, assuring “anxious, afraid, confused” residents that immigration is “not the responsibility of the LAPD.”
Garcetti and Los Angeles Unified School District officials met with students at Roosevelt High School, hoping to allay their fears about immigration and the possibility of deportation in light of Donald Trump’s election as president.
“I think like a lot of Americans, the election recently has left many of them anxious, afraid, confused — some angry,” Garcetti said after the meeting.
Thousands of LAUSD students took part in a series of protests and walkouts last week, with many expressing concerns about members of their families or friends being deported — given Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration.
“A lot of them are scared for their families if their parents are undocumented, et cetera,” one student told ABC7. “You know, they’re scared (about) what’s going to happen.”
After meeting with the students, Garcetti reiterated his stance that the city will maintain an arms-length relationship with federal immigration officials.
“Immigration is the responsibility of our federal government, and we’ve been very clear it’s not the responsibility of the LAPD,” Garcetti said.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly said in recent weeks that the department would maintain its existing policies regarding immigrants — refusing to turn over low-level offenders to immigration authorities and prohibiting officers from approaching people solely to determine their immigration status.
The LAUSD Board of Education last week adopted a resolution re-stating its position that campuses are safe spaces for students.
Garcetti dismissed what he called “threats” that the federal government might withhold funding for the city over its policies toward immigrants.
“I think anything that would take away federal aid would cause social economic and security problems and so I’m hoping that we can have those conversations separate and without threats,” Garcetti said. “… We participate all the time with our federal immigration authorities, and we will continue to do so. We just require, as the courts have decided, that there be a warrant.”
–City News Service