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LAPD May No Longer Honor All ICE Detention Requests For Low-Level Offenders

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police may no longer honor all federal detention requests for suspected illegal immigrants in LAPD custody, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports Chief Beck acknowledged the proposed policy change on how the Department responds to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests would be met with mixed reactions from the public.

“What I’m doing won’t go as far as many want, and it goes much further than other people believe I should go,” Beck said.

Under the proposal, the LAPD would no longer grant an ICE Detainer Request “without first reviewing the seriousness of the offense for which the person is being held, as well as their prior arrest history and gang involvement,” said Beck.

The LAPD is currently developing a list of criminal offenses including illegal vending, driving without a license, drinking in public, and any low-grade misdemeanor offenses that may alter how the Department honors the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Secure Communities program or “S-Comm” – that was signed into federal law on Sept. 30, 2008.

Beck said the City Attorney’s Office recently advised him that honoring the requests were at the discretion of local police departments.

Police arrest about 105,000 people per year, and the LAPD receives ICE detainer requests for about 3,400 of them, according to Beck.

About half of those requests are for misdemeanors, and he said he believes about 400 of those requests would be denied by his department if the policy is approved.

However, the LAPD would still comply with all ICE requests for felonies and for people “who are either criminal street gang members or who have criminal histories,” Beck said.

He hopes to obtain the approval of the Police Commission and have the new protocols in place by Jan. 1, 2013.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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