Updated 03:16 AM EDT, Tue, Sep 29, 2020

Los Angeles Police Department No Longer Honoring Federal Requests for Immigrant Detention

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Citing constitutional concerns and recent court rulings, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Monday that it will no longer detain undocumented immigrants at the request of the federal government, unless they are given a court order or arrest warrant for the person.  

During the announcement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and police Chief Charlie Beck referenced a recent decision by a federal judge in Oregon, as well as a bulletin questioning the legality of these detentions from California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

In the Oregon case, the court found that authorities violated the 4th Amendment rights of an undocumented immigrant who was held for two weeks on an ICE hold, despite being eligible for release. The judge ruled that unless there is a legal reason for holding the person past the legal timeframe, extended detention is unlawful in similar immigration cases. 

The bulletin from Harris also calls into question the legality of this type of detention, saying that "the updated bulletin informs state and local law enforcement agencies of new requirements they face since enactment of the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tool Act (TRUST Act) and new federal case law that creates legal risk for local law enforcement agencies that voluntarily comply with federal detainer requests."

"Until this area of the law is further clarified by the courts, effective immediately the Los Angeles Police Department will no longer honor immigration detainer requests submitted by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)," Garcetti and Beck said in a statement. 

The LAPD's stance comes at a time of heightened tension between political parties and opposing governments over immigration reform. A ruling was made Monday morning to block Arizona from denying immigrants access to state benefits, like obtaining driver's licenses. 

A number of anti-immigration protests have taken place in recent weeks across the state of California, with the most recent national headlines coming from the Murietta, California blockade in which buses full of undocumented children who were being transported to Texas were forced to turn around and reroute to San Diego. 

This is not the first time that LAPD has refused to comply with ICE. In 2012, Chief Beck announced that the LAPD would no longer honor requests from federal officials to detain undocumented immigrants for low-level crimes. 

ICE responded to the announcement in a statement, saying that it remains "committed to working with its law enforcement partners," and it expects local authorities to comply with its detention requests. 

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