Chief Beck eases policy on illegal immigrant deportation

Article subtitle: 
Citing an erosion of trust, the LAPD chief says illegal immigrants arrested in petty crimes won't be held for U.S. officials.
Article author: 
Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein
Article publisher: 
Los Angeles Times
Article date: 
4 October 2012
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck stepped into the national immigration debate Thursday, announcing that hundreds of illegal immigrants arrested by his officers each year in low-level crimes would no longer be turned over to federal authorities for deportation.

The new rules, which are expected to affect about 400 people arrested each year, mark a dramatic attempt by the nation's second-largest police department to distance itself from federal immigration policies that Beck says unfairly treat undocumented immigrants suspected of committing petty offenses.

It's the latest in a series of moves by Beck to redefine the Los Angeles Police Department's position on immigration issues. Earlier this year, the chief pushed through a controversial plan that limits the cases in which police officers impound vehicles of drivers operating without a license — a group consisting largely of illegal immigrants. And he came out in favor of issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants ...

More than 30 years ago, the LAPD adopted Special Order 40, a guiding policy that barred officers from making contact with a person solely for the purpose of determining their immigration status.

"It strikes me as somebody who runs a police department that is 45% Hispanic and polices a city that is at least that, that we need to build trust in these communities and we need to build cooperation or we won't be prepared," Beck said.

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CAIRCO Research

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE

SPECIAL ORDER NO. 40 NOVEMBER 27, 1979

SUBJECT: UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS
 

PROCEDURE:
I. ENFORCEMENT OF UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION LAWS. Officers shall not
initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.


Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of Title 8, Section 1325 of the
United States Immigration Code (Illegal Entry).

http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/SO_40.pdf