LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it will not participate in the 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 if 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,” Villanueva continued.
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 would no longer house ICE detainees in its jails and would use that space for mental health services.