In an announcement this Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it will not participate in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program that allows local police departments to arrest and detain immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally on behalf of the agency, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The program even allowed for the detainment of immigrants even in sanctuary cities.
“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 move comes after neighboring Orange County announced in March the end of a decade-long agreement with ICE to house their detainees in its jail system. According to Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, the agreement was ended to free up space for the treatment of inmates with mental health issues.
In 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to remove ICE agents from jails while allowing the Sheriff’s Department to continue its cooperation with the agency.
Featured image: screen grab/Newsy