Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive order expanding the LAPD's ban on stopping people suspected of being in the country illegally.
What's called Special Order 40 now applies to the Fire Department, Airport Police and Port Police. The mayor announced the action yesterday, at the same time LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said fewer Latino Angelenos are reporting domestic violence and sexual assault. Sex assault reports are down 25-percent year-to-date. Domestic violence claims down ten-percent. The chief said fears of deportation are discouraging those reports.
Meanwhile, immigration enforcement advocates are chiming in following Chief Beck’s comments. In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice told KPCC’s AirTalk that law enforcement’s suggestions that immigration enforcement is contributing to the decline in crime reporting was “entirely speculative and irresponsible.”
Today on AirTalk, a former ICE special agent in charge for Los Angeles responds to those claims.
Statement from ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice:
"Los Angeles law enforcement officials’ suggestion that expanded immigration enforcement has contributed to a recent decline in the reporting of certain types of crimes is entirely speculative and irresponsible.
On the contrary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognizes the imperative for crime victims and witnesses to come forward. The agency works closely with state and local law enforcement to see that foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking crimes are informed about the availability of special visas to enable them to remain in the U.S. Additionally, the fact that someone is the immediate victim or witness to a significant crime is a factor ICE prominently considers when weighing how to proceed in a particular case.
ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. The agency’s officers conduct themselves in accordance with their authorities under federal law and the Constitution.
The inference by Los Angeles officials that the agency’s execution of its mission is undermining public safety is outrageous and wrongheaded. In fact, the greater threat to public safety is local law enforcement’s continuing unwillingness to honor immigration detainers. Rather than transferring convicted criminal aliens to ICE custody as requested, agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, are routinely releasing these offenders back onto the street to potentially reoffend, and their victims are often other members of the immigrant community.
ICE looks forward to working with Los Angeles and other jurisdictions across the country in the coming weeks and months on this important issue."
Eric Garcetti, mayor of the City of Los Angeles
Claude Arnold, retired special agent in charge for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in the greater Los Angeles area