The Los Angeles Police Department is no longer heeding federal immigration requests to hold inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms unless a judge has vetted the request, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday alongside a cheering crowd of immigrant advocates, reports the L.A. Times.
"The federal government is in charge of enforcing federal immigration laws — not us at the local level," Garcetti said. "And that responsibility can't be forced onto local law enforcement officials who already have stretched budgets."
Los Angeles joins scores of other cities and counties that havestopped the practice, a phenomenon that analysts say could undercut the Obama administration's strategy on immigration enforcement. While the federal government has pushed for local police to help enforce immigration laws, more departments are pushing back.
At a Monday news conference alongside Garcetti and City Atty. Mike Feuer, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck declared that their new tack would build trust in the community and encourage more people to report crimes.