LAPD Refused All ICE Requests in 2016

The Los Angeles Police Department said it declined to honor any federal immigration detention requests in 2016, citing a City policy to only comply with orders or warrants signed by a judge.

The LAPD said earlier this year it received just over 300 such requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for individuals who had been arrested on suspicion of local crimes and had been flagged in law enforcement databases for immigration violations or warrants.

In comparison the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it received 2,395 detainer requests from ICE during the same period and agreed to hold or turn-over 1,007 inmates for immigration proceedings, according to department statistics (most arrestees awaiting trial are held in L.A. County Sheriff's jails, even if they're initially arrested by other agencies, including the LAPD, which is part of why the number of requests for the Sheriff's Department is so much higher).

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said the LAPD would comply only with ICE requests when a warrant was criminal and involved serious crimes.

“We don’t honor ICE detainer requests without a warrant that’s signed by a judge,” Garcetti reaffirmed Tuesday during an announcement of expanded restrictions on local officers’ involvement with immigration enforcement.

“We do have an interest with our federal law enforcement officials of getting serious, violent felons and criminals off our streets,” Garcetti said.

ICE detainers are typically delivered to the LAPD by fax or through a law enforcement teletype system once ICE agents learn a wanted person is in custody at a particular jail, according to federal agents and local officers.

They’re voluntary requests that the recipient agency hold the individual until ICE agents can take custody of the person.

ICE has not yet responded to a Freedom of Information Act Request for its records of the number of detainer requests sent to Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies in 2016. 

-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles)

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