Sunday, November 20, 2016

3.3 - Good News: LAPD will not become immigration police

Good News: LAPD will not become immigration police

Finally for now, a case of Good News arising because of bad news.

During the campaign, the Great Orange One made immigration a central issue, what with "The Wall," an idea that was much better when it was a Pink Floyd album, swearing to deport everyone who is undocumented, and pledging to undo what immigration relief the Amazing Mr. O created.

While he has backtracked a little on some of his more audacious plans, he still claims an intent to "immediately" deport some 2-3 million undocumented persons who he claims are "criminals, gang members, drug dealers."

The Good News is that not everyone is going to falling in line with his plans.

On November 14, Charlie Beck, the police chief of Los Angeles, said that he has no plans to change the LAPD's stance on immigration enforcement. Since 1979, the LAPD has not initiated contact with someone solely to determine whether they are in the country legally. In 2014, the department stopped turning over people arrested for low-level crimes to federal agents so they could be deported and has refused to honor federal requests to continue to detain inmates who have finished their jail terms on the grounds they might be deportable unless that request comes with a judicial order.

Beck was backed up by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said that "Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don't go around asking people for their papers, nor should they. That's not the role of local law enforcement."

True, this is not a new policy for the LAPD, but to reaffirm it now and to say it so clearly, at a time of legitimate renewed fear running through the immigrant community, at a time when there are rumblings of plans to force local cops to become the immigration police, to say that now is a welcome sign of solidarity.

And although it is again only the bad news that makes it necessary, it still is Good News to hear it.

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