Los Angeles' top elected officials are urging federal authorities to stop the practice of immigration officers identifying themselves as "police" in their search for people living in the country illegally, reports KTLA.

Citing a practice disclosed this week in the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Atty. Mike Feuer, and City Council President Herb Wesson cosigned a letter to the directors of the immigration services "to urge in the strongest possible terms that ICE immediately cease this practice in our city."

The letter said the practice undermines decades of work by the Los Angeles Police Department to build trust within the city's large immigrant community so that those in the country illegally can report crimes and offer information to police without fear of deportation.

Since the late 1970s, the LAPD has followed a policy prohibiting officers from initiating contact with anyone for the purpose of learning that person's immigration status.

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