LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles police officers’ union sued the city and Police Chief Charlie Beck this week over a new policy that allows some unlicensed drivers to keep their cars instead of having them impounded for 30 days.

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The Police Protective League filed their lawsuit Wednesday, asking the court to block Beck’s new order, which was endorsed by the city Police Commission earlier this year.

The union says they filed the lawsuit on behalf of its officers, who they say will be open to lawsuits if an unlicensed driver they stop later hurts or kills someone.

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“The officers are in a catch-22,” a statement from the Los Angeles Police Protective League said. “We believe a review by the courts is necessary and appropriate to determine the rights and duties of not only Los Angeles police officers, but all state law enforcement officers so they may continue protecting and enhancing the safety of all Californians.”

When the policy was first proposed, Beck said that giving licenses to illegal immigrants would make the roads safer, and that the policy of impounding a car for 30 days was unfair to hard-working illegal immigrants.

The police union says its decision to sue is not a position on immigration policy or the status of undocumented immigrants.

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»COMPLETE COVERAGE: Unlicensed Drivers