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Burbank, Glendale police are ‘not affected’ by Trump’s immigration orders, officials say

Burbank and Glendale police officials said their work will not be affected by President Donald Trump's recent executive orders on immigration.

Burbank and Glendale police officials said their work will not be affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration.

(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

While police departments across the country figure out what to make of President Donald Trump’s call on local agencies to act as immigration enforcement officials, police departments in Burbank and Glendale said their work will remain business as usual.

Trump signed a pair of executive orders that seek to tighten the country’s immigration policy — including the building of a wall along the Mexican border in addition to empowering local law enforcement with the same authority as immigration officers.

The Los Angeles Times reported that such a policy could allow officers to ask about a person’s immigration status when contacting them on the street.

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The president also threatened to cut off federal funding to any “sanctuary city” that protects undocumented immigrants. Neither Burbank nor Glendale has that designation.

While Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse could not be reached for comment, department spokeman Lt. Claudio Losacco said neither the Burbank Police Department nor the chief have a stance on the president’s directives.

“The Burbank Police Department is not affected by this order,” Losacco said. “We will continue detention, arrest and jail procedures as usual.”

According to Burbank police policy, a person’s immigration status should not be the sole basis of contact or arrest unless it proves relevant to a criminal offense of investigation.

Losacco said any changes in department policy would need to be properly vetted and also require consultation with city officials, including the council and city attorney.

Drew Sugars, the city’s public information officer, said Burbank officials have yet to come up with a response to the orders.

“At this time, council has not met, and they have not addressed what happened lately with these executive orders,” he said.

Glendale has also yet to officially respond to the orders. City spokesman Tom Lorenz said the city attorney’s office still needs to review them before any action can be taken.

Both the city and police released a joint statement assuring residents the Glendale Police Department will continue to serve the community in the interest of public safety.

“The Glendale Police Department does not have the authority nor the responsibility to incarcerate or detain individuals solely based on immigration status,” according to the statement. “Our responsibility is to protect the lives of the community we are sworn to serve and honor the established principles of democracy upon which this country was founded.”

While the department itself will not directly detain people based on their immigration status, the city has been in agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since 2007 to use the Glendale City Jail as transitory housing for those arrested by the federal agency.

Recent census data show roughly 54% of residents in Glendale are immigrants, while around 31% of Burbank’s population is foreign born.

“The Burbank Police Department has built trust with our community over many, many years,” Losacco said. “We are always cognizant of how any action or inaction by our organization will impact the community we serve, both perceived and in reality.”

The Burbank Police Officers’ Assn. declined to comment, and attempts to reach the Glendale Police Officers’ Assn. were not returned.

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Andy Nguyen, andy.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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