Sheriff Announces Permanent Ban on ICE Transfers
There is no greater threat to public safety than a million undocumented immigrants who are afraid to report crime, out of fear of deportation and having their families torn apart. As the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I am responsible for everyone’s public safety, regardless of immigration status. I will not allow an entire segment of the population to be afraid to report crimes to law enforcement and be forced, again, back into the shadows.
On April 24, 2020, I placed a moratorium on transfers of qualified inmates from the nation’s largest jail system to ICE during the COVID-19 pandemic. After learning of the pending litigation regarding the conditions in the Adelanto/ICE detention facility and allegations of similar conditions at other ICE facilities, the moratorium will now be permanent and we will no longer transfer individuals to the custody of ICE based solely on a civil immigration detainer. In so doing, we have created a bright line between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement in the most populous County in the nation.
This permanent ban was preceded by my categorical rejection of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) grant that essentially sold our undocumented inmate data base information for federal funds. This morally indefensible program netted $122 million dollars for Los Angeles County from 2005 to 2018, at the expense of our immigrant community.
We will encourage ICE to use the constitutionally sound judicial warrant system, used by all other law enforcement agencies in the nation, to effect legal transfers from Los Angeles County to federal custody. The Sheriff’s Department will also continue its work with the District Attorney’s Office by providing the required assurances requested by ICE to ensure that those who have fled to other countries to avoid prosecution will return and stand trial. Violent criminals who prey on our law-abiding communities should be held fully accountable.