The Los Angeles Police Department will not change its immigration policies, despite pledges by President-elect Donald Trump to toughen the nation’s immigration laws and deport millions of immigrants living in the country illegally, police Chief Charlie Beck said in remarks reported this week.
“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said in a story posted on the Los Angeles Times website. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
The LAPD has had a policy — known as Special Order 40 — since 1979 that bars officers from initiating contact with anyone for the sole purpose of determining if they are in the country illegally. In recent years, the department has also stopped referring low-level arrestees to federal immigration authorities for possible deportation.
Trump made immigration a major issue during his presidential campaign, saying he would build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and round up people living in the country illegally and deport them. Those pledges have sparked concerns among immigrant communities in the days since Trump was elected, and contributed to protests that have been held across the country over the past week.
According to The Times, Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed Beck’s immigration stance last Friday while speaking to members of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, telling the group Special Order 40 will remain in place.
“Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don’t go around asking people for their papers, nor should they,” Garcetti said. “That’s not the role of local law enforcement.”
Beck told The Times members of his command staff have been meeting with community leaders to discuss concerns over immigration enforcement.
“This is the same LAPD you had Monday, a week ago,” he said. “We have not changed because of the election on Tuesday. We have the same principles. We have the same values. This is not going to change the way that the Los Angeles Police Department enforces the law.”