Los Angeles Sheriff Allows ICE Agents in Jails
Recently the Los Angeles Sheriff has authorized ICE agents to enter jails and identity immigrants who could be eligible for deportation. The Sheriff has stated that this practice was done in order to balance public safety needs and the concerns of immigrant communities. The new policy will allow ICE agents access to inmates who are being released. The agents are authorized to interview those inmates who have been convicted of serious crimes and are not protected by the California Trust Act. The California Trust Act is a law enacted in 2013 that protects immigrants from federal immigration agents unless they are convicted of serious crimes.
Many groups have protested Los Angeles’s willingness to allow ICE agents access to jail records. Immigrant advocates are concerned that these measures promote racial profiling and discourage undocumented immigrants from talking to police officials. Fear of deportation is always present now this fear may be even more real for immigrants seeking release from Los Angeles jails. Immigrants may refrain from working with police now with the additional threat of ICE detention.
Those in favor of ICE agents investigations in Los Angeles jails have voiced support. Some feel this will allow ICE agents to focus time and energy on violent inmates that are about to be released back into society.
San Francisco Banned ICE Agents From Jails
In San Francisco, there have been opposite measures taken. Back in 2014, the San Francisco sheriff banned cooperation with federal immigration agents. Unless there is a determination based on probable cause supported by a judge or a valid search warrant, deputies will not allow ICE agents to detain inmates. Similar measures were taken by surrounding bay area counties. Many immigration advocates have applauded this ban by Bay Area counties.
Role of ICE Agents
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is an agency that enforces federal laws. ICE agents enforce federal laws that govern border control, customs, trade and immigration. ICE is intended to be a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement of the US Customs Service and Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Part of the job of ICE is to enforce US immigration laws. ICE agents will identify undocumented immigrants and detain or remove them. ICE agents focus on immigrants that have committed crimes in the US.
Los Angeles’s new action of allowing ICE agents into jails may give the ICE agents an ability focus energy on immigrants that have committed crimes in the US. On the other hand these new measure could further promote racial profiling and blur the lines of due process. Immigrants may be hesitant to work with police knowing police records can easily be turned over to immigration agents and the immigrant could face additional serious immigration consequences. While Los Angeles is attempting to work ICE agents and make their job easier, this new measure could have negative consequences.