According to reporting from NBC Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has officially announced that it will not participate in the federal government’s newly released Warrant Service Officer Program. The program, which was unveiled earlier this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seeks to give local law enforcement agencies the power to make immigration arrests.
This is an incredibly important move by L.A. County law enforcement. It will help to preserve our city’s rightful sanctuary status and it will help make our community safer for everyone who lives here. In this article, our deportation defense attorney provides an overview of the new program launched by ICE and explains the implications of the decision by Los Angeles County Sheriff.
What is the Warrant Service Officer Program?
On May 6th, 2019, ICE announced the creation of the Warrant Service Officer Program. The purpose of this program is relatively straightforward — it is an attempt to override state and local laws that were put into place to protect undocumented immigrants. It is nothing more than an effort to find a ‘workaround’ of the many sanctuary city laws that have been passed by local governments in recent years.
ICE is seeking to give state and local law enforcement agencies the legal authority to arrest and detain undocumented immigrants on behalf of the federal agency — even if local law specifically forbids these law enforcement agencies from doing so. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly condemned this new program as an outright attempt to “subvert the will of local communities”.
Los Angeles County Will Not Be Coerced
The Warrant Service Officer Program is likely to face significant litigation. Whether federal immigration officers even have the legal right to promote such a program is a question for serious debate. However, in the meantime, it is crucial that local law enforcement agencies take a stand against the pressure and attempted coercion by the federal government. Law enforcement agencies should comply with local laws protecting immigrants.
It is great news that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stood up against the Trump Administration and stated its willingness to comply with local law. Within 48 hours, Los Angeles County made it clear that it will keep a definitive line between local law enforcement priorities and federal immigration enforcement. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters in his official press conference that the police are committed to protecting the safety of all of the residents of Los Angeles “regardless of immigration status”.
Get Help From a Los Angeles, CA Deportation Defense Lawyer Right Away
At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our deportation defense attorney is a strong and aggressive advocate for immigrants in Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding communities. To get a strictly confidential review of your immigration law case, please call our office today.