In a decision that has created a mixed reaction from Americans, the Los Angeles Police Department will stop following US Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration hold requests without fair judicial review. The new policy was announced on Monday by Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose office also released several updates about the new police protocol on Twitter.
ICE hold requests take place when the fingerprints of individuals arrested locally are checked by federal authorities with federal immigration databases. If a potential match is found and it is believed that the person in custody either has a warrant against them or may be an undocumented immigrant, ICE can ask the police to hold the individual in custody for up to two days. Immigration reform advocates have objected to this practice on constitutional grounds, and Garcetti says a thorough judicial review would make it fairer.
“The way it exists right now, you don’t even have to go to a judge,” Garcetti pointed out. “It’s just an ICE officer who goes: “Hold that person,” ‒ period. That no longer will be honored. Like most things, it will have to go through a judge.”
Internal data suggests that the Los Angeles Police Department arrests around 105,000 people every year, with almost 3,400 of these receiving ICE detainer requests. Los Angeles has now joined other cities in the state of California and across the country in deciding to no longer honor these requests, much to delight of immigration advocates.