The recently re-elected mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, released a new set of protections for illegal aliens on Tuesday, as cities across California step up their efforts to defy President Donald Trump’s crackdown.
Los Angeles Executive Directive 20, signed by Garcetti on Tuesday, will prohibit city employees or state funds from being used to serve the federal government unless obliged by law, while local law enforcement officials will be prohibited from asking any individual resident about his or her immigration status, or to arrest any suspected illegal aliens for being present in the U.S. illegally.
Garcetti has previously argued that enforcing immigration law would prevent officers from solving “real crimes” such as homicides, rapes, burglaries.
The head of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Chief Charlie Beck, reportedly said the measure was important to restore trust amongst between the city’s immigration populations and local law enforcement.
The new protections cement Los Angeles’s status as a sanctuary city, with the Department of Homeland Security on Monday publishing its first weekly list of all 118 localities refusing to cooperate with the Trump administration’s enforcement efforts.
On publishing the list, the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement Agency’s (ICE) acting director Thomas Homan argued, according to a Fox News report, that “when law-enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission.”
In February, California’s Democrat-controlled legislature proposed a bill to make the state a “sanctuary state,” despite the risk of losing some federal funding if it does so. The proposal came despite a recent poll conducted by the University of California Berkeley finding the 74 percent of Californians would like to see sanctuary cities abolished.