Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson have taken issue with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s agents (ICE) misrepresenting themselves as “police” officers while conducting immigration investigations and enforcement. Our City’s leaders expressed their collective dismay and displeasure in a letter to John F. Kelly, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security and Susan M. Curda, Los Angeles’ District Director of US Citizenship And Immigration Services requesting immediate discontinuance of this practice.
ICE agents are not Los Angeles police officers and LAPD officers don’t enforce immigration rules. Los Angeles leaders strongly oppose ICE agents’ tactic of posing as “police” officers.
It has taken our city and Los Angeles Police Department 40 years to develop trust of all its residents, including documented and undocumented immigrants, which helps keep Los Angeles safe. Residents are not afraid to report crime. Residents come forward as victims and / or witnesses to crime. Los Angeles residents trust our police officers. Public trust is precious and shouldn’t be exploited for any reason.
LAPD doesn’t carry out Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s duties. ICE and LAPD are two separate entities.
With all due respect to DHS and its efforts to implement the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration, when ICE agents improperly identify themselves as “police” officers, the image of LAPD which became synonymous with protection and service is undermined.
Public safety in Los Angeles is important to all Angelenos regardless of their immigration status. Angelenos’ trust shouldn’t be compromised by any individual or organization (including a government agency) de-facto impersonating our police officers.
The President’s Executive Orders on Immigration affect only a fraction of Los Angeles residents, but the loss of trust in Los Angeles police force will jeopardize the safety of all Angelenos.