Sheriff’s Department offers answers to community’s immigration concerns
OW Staff Writer | 4/20/2017, midnight
Personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) make more than two million public contacts every year. “This county is the most diverse in the United States. LASD welcomes this rich diversity and share tremendous trust in all of its communities. We are the guardians of our communities and public safety is our top priority,” according to an advisory from the department.
- Does the LASD work to deport illegal immigrants? For example, could I be deported during a routine traffic stop or call for help?
Answer: No. Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department do not ask about immigration status during traffic stops or calls for service. In fact, deputies do not ask immigration status of ANY person, including a victim or witness to any crime. Immigration enforcement is the responsibility of the federal government. Our Department members shall investigate criminal activity without regard to an individual’s immigration status. We shall not initiate police activity with the sole objective of discovering an individual’s immigration status. We shall neither arrest nor book any individual solely on suspicion of violating federal immigration laws relating to illegal entry, being unlawfully present, or overstaying a visa.
- What prevents an LASD Deputy from arresting someone for being an undocumented immigrant?
Answer: Our Department policy prohibits our deputies from arresting or booking an individual solely on the suspicion of violating federal immigration laws.
- What happens to an LASD Deputy who asks about someone’s immigration status?
Answer: The deputy can be subject to administrative action.
- What can an undocumented immigrant do if LASD personnel inquire about their immigration status?
Answer: File a complaint, known as a “Watch Commander’s Service Comment Report,” by contacting a local LASD station or calling the LASD Internal Affairs Bureau.
- Can I report crimes without fear of being deported?
Answer: Absolutely, yes. Our policy is to enforce all laws equally for all community members, regardless of the immigration status. Our deputies are prohibited from asking about immigration status and should not be asking. We have built trust within our communities and this trust is the basis for our “Immigration Inquiries and Notifications Policy.” This policy is intended to reassure immigrant communities thatthere is no need for fear when contacting the Los Angeles
County Sheriff’s Department when they need us most. In fact, we offer U-Visa applications to all victims and witnesses of crime who fit the criteria. The number of U-Visa applications has increased, which is an indication of our strong community partnerships and public trust.
- How many inmates were turned over to ICE in 2016?
Answer: In California, we are guided by the TRUST and TRUTH ACTS. In 2016, approximately 312,000 people were released from our custody. Of those, only 1,007 of the most serious and violent offenders were turned over to the custody of ICE agents. This is 1/3 of 1 percent and was only those who qualified as serious and violent offenders and posed significant potential risk to public safety in Los Angeles County.
Our communities benefit from our compliance with the TRUST and TRUTH ACTS so that dangerous criminals do not prey on innocent victims in our communities.
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