LA Mayor Eric Garcetti expands protection for immigrants

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles has officially vowed not to help federal immigration officials after Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive on Tuesday.

While the Los Angeles Police Department has long had a policy of not asking citizens about immigration status, the practice has now expanded to the Los Angeles City Fire Department and the Los Angeles Airport Police.

Executive Directive 20 will also keep the information of citizens at city facilities private.

"The city of Los Angeles doesn't ask questions about where you come from or what language you speak or how you worship God, it is in our power to keep everyone safe," Garcetti said.

The LAPD stopped honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers back in 2014 unless a warrant signed by a judge is presented.

The federal government has said it will cut funding from cities and agencies that don't cooperate.

"In L.A. we don't care what color your skin is, where your parents come from or what language you speak. We are your police department," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

Beck said in the Latino community, domestic violence reporting has been down 10 percent, while sexual assault reports were down 25 percent.

He admitted, however, there was no direct connection to immigration status fears. The mayor said city enrollment was also down at youth centers, libraries and parks.

"We believe that many local families are keeping their kids home or backing off of engaging with our law enforcement officials and our public safety officials because they're afraid of what they believe could happen," Garcetti said.

City officials said their best weapon to protect citizens is information, which is why they said efforts would be made to inform immigrant communities of their rights.

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