L.A. County Sheriff’s Department won’t arrest and hold immigrants for ICE

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2019: L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva waits to speak
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva waits to speak during a media open house at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles on April 24, 2019.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says it will not participate in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Warrant Service Officer Program.

The program allows for local authorities to arrest and temporarily detain immigrants in the United States illegally on behalf of the agency, regardless of whether the city is a so-called sanctuary city.

As previously stated, the Sheriff’s Department will keep a line of separation between local law enforcement action and federal immigration policy,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement. “One of the Department’s priorities is providing public safety for all of Los Angeles County’s residents, regardless of immigration status.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in 2015 to remove federal immigration agents from county jails but also wanted then-Sheriff Jim McDonnell to continue the department’s cooperation with ICE.


In March, Orange County declared it no longer would house ICE detainees in its jails and would use that space for mental health services.

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