LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department will not actively help federal officials apprehend undocumented immigrants who are “low-level offenders,” even in the face of President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to deport up to 3 million immigrants who have committed crimes, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

The department will still cooperate with federal officials if the immigrant in custody has committed a “serious violent crime,” Beck told reporters at City Hall.

But “the use of local law enforcement for general deportation reasons for low-level offenders is not appropriate,” he said.

While not fitting the typical definition of a “sanctuary city” that shields undocumented immigrants from federal officials, Los Angeles has long had a policy of keeping local police work separate from that of federal immigration officials.

Beck said that as a local law enforcement agency, the police department’s primary goal is to ensure the safety of Angelenos, which depends on officers being trusted by the immigrant community.

“Over 500,000 Angelenos, people who live in Los Angeles, are undocumented immigrants,” Beck said. “I need their cooperation. I need them to work with their local police stations. I need them to be witnesses to violent crime. I need them to be part of the fabric of Los Angeles if we are to keep this city safe.”

“For a local law enforcement agency to take on the role of immigration enforcement tears that fabric apart,” he said.

Beck said the department will keep people in custody no longer than the typical 48 to 72 hours, and will not honor requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to detain people longer than that.

Beck said the department takes the position that these types of “ICE detainers have been shown to be illegal.”

The police department, however, will not hide the fact that an undocumented immigrant has been taken into custody, according to Beck.

Beck said the “system by which we run folks nationally for warrants notifies ICE automatically,” so they will still release people to immigration enforcement officials as long as they are in their custody, Beck said.

“If they (ICE officials) call, if they make contact, then we give them the release dates, but we don’t hold people past those release dates,” he said. “And if they bail out, they bail out.”

He said that while it would be a “big deal” if the department’s stance were to result in the city losing out on federal dollars, it will not influence whether he does “the right thing.”

“It’s a matter of principle,” he said. “This is a matter of what … is the core value of the Los Angeles Police Department, which I believe far transcends any other motivation.”

The LA School Board, meanwhile, is working on a resolution that would protect personal information about students, parents, teachers and other employees from being turned over to the federal government.

(©2016 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.)

Comments (16)
  1. Lu Johnson says:

    “LAPD Will Not Take On Role Of ‘Immigration Enforcement’ Under Trump, Charlie Beck Says”

    That’s what YOU think, putz. Hope you have some effective condiments, because you WILL eat those words.

    Bwaahaaahaaaahaaaaaaaa!

    Lovin’ da Trump. Go FREEDOM!!!! Feels so good.

  2. Carl Lucas says:

    Jeez! How horrible. Half a million illegals ? (That you are aware of) And American citizens are footing the bill for their education, food, medical bills, housing, etc. They ALL need to be deported.

    1. 1/2 a million is a LIe just like 11-12million total is a LIE

  3. Skip Ford says:

    Chief Beck, the American taxpayers will “not” continue taking the role of LAPD subsidizers. How about them tacos?

    1. Betty Jones says:

      You would change your tune if the cops were busy chasing immigrants while your house was being broken into

      1. You should already have changed your tune just knowing you have to compete with jobs from these people….

  4. what happen to my comment? am i being sensored?

  5. I can see right now CBS sucks they wont post what im saying ive said it twice now with no cussing to speak of..LAME STREAM MEDIA STRIKES AGAIN

  6. Bob Rochetto says:

    This is insane, the left, Clinton, Obama and the DOJ hate cops—Trump supports them 100% and yet I read this….This is about corruption not immigration..

  7. Jim Sozio says:

    The chief of police is a manager of policy dictated by the Los Angeles Police Commission …..that commission is appointed by the democrat Mayor LA always elects

  8. Betty Jones says:

    Police have enough problems finding criminals and solving crime by citizens, Let the Feds do the work since it is a federal problem

    1. So when an illegal immigrant mugs someone on the street it is not an LA police problem?

      1. Betty Jones says:

        The jobs most illegals have are low paying jobs and some don’t get minimum wage because the employers take advantage of them knowing this My kids and grandkids are employed because the jobs they have require skill/education. So what jobs do they take? . They can’t take unless an employer hires them. So blame the employer because he could have hired a citizen instead of looking for cheap labor.

    2. mrarcadian says:

      Really betty?!?!? wow! looks like more criminal would want that, nobody looking over their shoulders, im sure you have a few illegals living in your area that you dont want deported, they supply certain item to you this is why youre taking this stance. If you watch the police they are on their phone most of the time when they are not patrolling, yes they do have lots on their plate, but thats what they are paid for to protect the citizens not the illegals(the people are are here illegally) you do know those words am I correct?!?!? Wow! but seriously. They can do this they just refused to do this even though illegals are here and breaking the law even if they are trying to help their families they are here illegally.

      1. Betty Jones says:

        When a crime is committed then it is the job .of law enforcement.to arrest the crimimal legal or ilegal I might have a lot of illegals living in my neighborhood but they appear to be law abiding like the rest Since we live in a democracy we all have rights legals illegals, criminals, non criminals like it or not. The police have enough problems chasing you citizens 24;/7 now they are suppose to weed out illegals. All the Illegals are not just from Mexico and Central America but here on expired visas from other countries also what about them ? illegals that are latinos are just easily spotted by their surnames but Filipinos have latin surnames also. So Trump will have his job cut out for him finding them,

  9. mrarcadian says:

    If Beck doesnt do his job, then he should resign and let someone else do the work for him, stop trying to hide behind the criminals beck just stop!