LA officials urge ICE agents to stop identifying themselves as 'police'

In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a man is arrested in Los Angeles by ICE agents. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

Los Angeles officials have requested that agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately cease the practice of identifying themselves as "police."

In a letter, Mayor Eric Garcetti, city attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson urged ICE agents to no longer refer to themselves as "police" while carrying out their duties in L.A.

The letter is in response to recent controversial pictures and videos showing ICE agents wearing vests that only read "POLICE." Videos show ICE agents identifying themselves as police officers as they try to gain entry into homes.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Garcetti have said on numerous occasions that LAPD officers will not take part in immigration enforcement, stating that is the responsibility of the federal government.

MORE: LAPD Chief Beck seeks to reassure undocumented immigrants

The letter details decades of work by the city to gain the trust of all citizens in an effort to make communities safer. That trust, the letter says, encourages witnesses and victims of crime to come forward regardless of immigration status.

"As a result, when ICE agents targeting immigrants identify themselves only as 'police' officers, they undermine decades of this work, eroding public safety in our city," the later states.

The letter, addressed to Susan Curda, the district director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, concludes stating, "Especially in these turbulent and uncertain times, we urge ICE agents operating in Los Angeles immediately stop representing they are 'police' officers."
Related Topics:
newsimmigrationimmigration reformICEPresident Donald Trumppolicelapderic garcettiLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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