Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive today barring Los Angeles airport and harbor police from enforcing federal immigration laws, requiring those agencies to follow policies similar to what the Los Angeles Police Department has been operating under.
The agencies, which patrol Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles, will adopt policies similar to Special Order 40, which was issued in 1979 and prohibits officers from initiating police action to inquire about a person’s immigration status or arresting someone for violation of immigration laws. The fire department will also be adopting similar rules.
“We’re taking a big step forward, expanding these policies to our other police departments in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said, just before signing Executive Directive 20 at the Lincoln Heights Youth Center Complex.
“If you’re in the business of protecting and serving people being in public safety, you should be protecting all people without regard to their immigrant status,” he said.
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The executive directive also refers to other LAPD policies, such as not participating in 287(g), in which local authorities are deputized to carry out federal immigration laws, and not honoring ICE detainers without a warrant.
“LAPD has never participated in programs that deputize local law enforcement to act as immigration agents, and on my watch they never will,” Garcetti said.
The LAPD stopped honoring ICE detainers in 2014 “without a warrant signed by the court,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti was joined by police Chief Charlie Beck, who said in his “four decades” with the Los Angeles Police Department, their officers have “never been involved in enforcing civil immigration law — and we never will.”
He said having police enforce immigration laws hurts the department’s relationship with the community.
“Those (relationships) are not sustained when a police department knocks on the front door to get witness information and to talk to a victim and people run out the back door,” Beck said. “And that is what we fear the most is happening in our city.”
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Beck said domestic violence reporting is down 10 percent, while sexual assault reporting is down 25 percent in the Hispanic demographic.
The directive also prevents city employees from cooperating with any federal civil immigration enforcement actions or use any city dollars or resources, unless they are legally required. Department general managers and directors will also report to the mayor’s office and the LAPD any efforts by federal immigration enforcement to use city resources to enforce “civil” immigration laws.