Popular Resistance - The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a coalition of advocacy groups today sent a letter to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members, demanding that they take steps to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from impersonating police officers to gain access to homes and businesses in Los Angeles.
The deception critically endangers LAPD policies that seek to assure immigrant community members they can report crimes and assist police investigations without fear of deportation. These policies have been vital in furthering public safety.
ICE permits its agents to misrepresent themselves as police officers, probation officers, religious workers and other officials to gain community members’ permission to enter homes without warrants. The ruse has also been used to get individuals to volunteer information they might not otherwise divulge.
“ICE’s impersonations exploit the trust that LAPD has sought to build with immigrant community members,” said Michael Kaufman, Sullivan & Cromwell Access to Justice Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. “It is critical that city leaders take a stand against ICE’s deceptive practices, particularly in light of the Trump administration’s intent to build a mass deportation dragnet.”