LAPD Takes a Stand Against Trump's Deportation Plans

November 15th 2016

Lucy Tiven

The Los Angeles Police Department may have thrown a wrench in President-elect Donald Trump's immigration policy plans.


On Monday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times the department would not change its position on immigration enforcement or participate in Trump's prospective deportation efforts.

“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck said. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”

Trump's immigration position hits home in Los Angeles County, which is home to more unauthorized immigrants than any other county in the U.S., the Migration Policy Institute reports.

The LAPD adopted Special Order 40, a policy (PDF) prohibiting police action against individuals based on their immigration status in 1979.

"The purpose of Special Order 40 was to keep police from initiating action for the purpose of discovering someone's immigration status," Ana Muñiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California at Irvine, told ATTN. "So to prevent the situation of [bill] SB 1070 in Arizona."

Passed in 2010, the Arizona bill required police officers to demand immigration paperwork from anyone "where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States." The state announced an end to this practice in September 2016 as part of settlement with the National Immigration Law center and other groups, NPR reports. Other parts of SB 1070 were overturned in 2012.

"What LAPD is saying is that they won’t cooperate," Muñiz added. "They're not saying that they're going to stop it."

Beck's comments came a day after Trump doubled down on his proposals to crack-down on illegal immigration on "60 Minutes."

Trump's campaign website claims his administration will "move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement." His administration's immigration page does not mention cooperation at the state or local level.

ATTN: reached out to Trump Presidential Transition Team National Press Secretary Hope Hicks for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

Other police departments issued responses to Trump's immigration agenda.

Aurora and Denver Colorado Police Departments announced they would not change their stances on immigration, a Denver ABC News affiliate reports.

Two Maryland police departments released statements asserting that they would not participate in deportation efforts, a Virginia ABC news affiliate reported Monday. Massachusetts law enforcement agencies also addressed Trump's plans.

From the Boston Herald:

"Police in Boston, Chelsea, Cambridge and Lawrence, as well as state police, all agencies that deal with large populations of immigrants, told the Herald yesterday their officers have worked hard establishing trust and enforcing immigration law is a federal problem. Several of the agencies said they do act on federal detention warrants, however."

"Deportation is obviously a central and huge issue for undocumented people and undocumented communities but it's not only issue," Muñiz said.

"Outside of these joint enforcement issues, we have very real concerns about police actions in communities of color including undocumented communities, whether it's excessive use of force or profiling or targeted enforcement," she told ATTN:.