Southern California breaking news and trends

LAPD scales back its participation in Secure Communities

Los Angeles Police Foundation's 10th Annual Fundraising Gala

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Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told the L.A. Police Commission that his department is changing its policy toward the federal Secure Communities program.

The Los Angeles Police Department will no longer detain some undocumented suspects on behalf of federal immigration authorities, the L.A. Police Commission decided Tuesday.

The commission made that change at the request of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. He told commissioners that L.A. should lead the way in correcting flaws in the federal Secure Communities program. Under that program, local law enforcement agencies automatically share fingerprints of anyone they arrest with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE then has the option of asking police to detain arrestees for 48 hours so the immigration agency can begin deportation proceedings.

LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission the program is ICE's "primary engine for the identification and removal of criminal aliens and others who pose a threat to public safety." But the LAPD's six-month survey of ICE detetainer requests indicated that 10 percent were for people who had no criminal histories and were arrested on suspicion of low-level nuisance crimes like drinking in public or sidewalk vending. Based upon the department's survey,  about 340 fewer people would be detained each year.


Villaraigosa at National Council of La Raza conference to talk immigration

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Las Vegas today to speak at the National Council of La Raza's national conference.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Las Vegas today to speak to the National Conference of La Raza about the federal government's policies on undocumented immigrants.

The speech will give Villaraigosa, chair of the Democratic National Convention, an opportunity to knock presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to prepared remarks provided by the mayor’s office. His first criticism will actually come from one of actress Eva Longoria’s tweets.

“I think Eva Longoria put it best. She tweeted, ‘Mitt Romney said he keeps his promises. So don’t forget: he promised to veto the Dream Act,” according to Villaraigosa’s speech.

“To that I would add: Don’t forget that he called Arizona a ‘model for the nation.’ Don’t forget that he campaigned with Kris Kobach, the architect of SB 1070. And most importantly, don’t forget that his core immigration policy remains the self-deportation of 11 million people.”


With SB 1070 ruling, Villaraigosa calls for immigration reform

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters he does not see how the remaining part of Arizona's immigration law can be enforced without racial profiling.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down sections of Arizona’s immigration policy was applauded today by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who believes that a remaining aspect of the law would be difficult to enforce without racial profiling.

Justices determined that only the federal government has the ability to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally. However, police officers may inquire about a person’s immigration status during a lawful stop.

“Most of us see absolutely no way to apply this law, to enforce this law, without racial profiling, without stopping you as an example because you may look different or foreign to someone,” Villaraigosa told reporters during an impromptu news conference outside City Hall.

“I’m disappointed with their decision with respect to the ‘show me your papers’ provision. And what they’ve essentially said is that (the) issue will continue to be litigated at the trial court and beyond,” he said. 


Villaraigosa: deferred action will allow young people "to contribute mightily"

Undocumented Unafraid

Mae Ryan/KPCC

President Obama's proposal that would allow young people who were children when they were brought to America illegally to stay in the country was backed today by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

News that certain young people who live in the country illegally will now be allowed to stay in America was welcomed today by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who told CNN they will, “contribute mightily to the nation.” 

President Obama announced earlier today that young people who were brought to the country illegally before the age of 16, who have lived here for five years, who do not pose a security threat, and who have enrolled in school or the military will be able to apply for deferred action. 

Villaraigosa, an Obama supporter and chair of the Democratic National Convention, backs the plan.

“Look, we’re using our prosecutorial discretion here to say that the kids who have been here – many of them came as infants, they’ve lived here their whole life,” Villaraigosa said in an interview with CNN.


ICE removal: 6 days, 50 states, 3,100 arrests

ice cross check

Photo via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICE ERO arrested more than 3,100 convicted criminal aliens, fugitives and immigration violators in a six-day nationwide enforcement action. In this photo an ICE agent arrests a criminal alien after arrest in Los Angeles.

More than 200 "convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives" were arrested in the Southland during a nationwide, six-day, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) operation that captured over 3000 people in all 50 states, the agency announced today.

The "Cross Check" enforcement operation saw the arrest of 2,834 individuals with prior criminal convictions including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, terroristic threats, drug trafficking, child abuse, and sexual crimes against minors, among others.

"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation's immigration system," said ICE Director John Morton. "Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 3,168 fewer criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators in our neighborhoods across the country."