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Can L.A. County Sheriff McDonnell Thread PEP-Trust Act Needle?

September 24, 2015 (2 min read)

NILC, Sept. 23, 2015 - "The Los Angeles County sheriff announced Tuesday his newest plan to further entangle the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) harsh deportation policies. The sheriff’s proposal would allow ICE full access into the jails despite a May 2015 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors vote to close ICE’s permanent office inside the jail. By exceeding the current limitations and parameters of the new federal Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), this proposal invites even more racial profiling and would funnel more members of Southern California families through ICE’s deportation pipeline.  Shiu-Ming Cheer, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, said the following in response to the sheriff’s announcement: “The L.A. County sheriff’s proposed policies are poised to further undermine years of community trust built between the immigrant community and local law enforcement. Not only has the Sheriff's Department fully endorsed the flawed Priority Enforcement Program, it has in fact doubled down and far exceeded the policies and practices put forth in PEP. California has been a national leader on implementing commonsense policies that strike a thoughtful balance between protecting community trust and ensuring public safety. On the same day that San Francisco Supervisor David Campos announced plans to introduce a resolution calling on the San Francisco sheriff to refuse cooperation with ICE’s Priority Enforcement Program, L.A. County is promoting reactionary policies that criminalize our communities and jeopardize basic due process protections.” "

Kate Linthicum, L.A. Times, Sept. 23, 2015 - "Some experts praised McDonnell's new policy, which allows immigration agents to target serious or violent criminals who are about to be released. But immigrant rights advocates accused him of bowing to political pressure escalated by the fatal shooting in July of a woman in San Francisco — allegedly by a man who was in the country illegally and had recently been released from local custody.  “It appears the ‘Trump Effect' is now having an impact on Los Angeles County policy,” said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, who said the new policy “appears politically motivated and impacted by sensationalized tragedy.”  McDonnell outlined the policy in a letter to the board made public Tuesday.  It says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents “will be allowed access to all inmates who are being released” from jail, but also that agents will be allowed to interview only those who have been convicted of serious crimes and are not protected by the California Trust Act."