Striking a balanced approach to public safety, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to end the county’s participation in a current collaboration between sheriff’s deputies and federal immigration officials in the county jails. Known as 287g, the federal program allowed for jail staff and immigration agents to screen inmates convicted of certain crimes to determine if they were eligible for deportation.
“This was a failed federal program that was constitutionally flawed and put Los Angeles County at risk—as a recent U.S. Court decision in Oregon found,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who co-authored the motion with Supervisor Hilda Solis.
However, the Supervisors also asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to continue cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security to implement the Priority Enforcement Program, a new program that would allow federal agents to cross-check the fingerprints of every person booked into a local jail against an immigration database. It would apply only to people who have been convicted of a current crime and immigration agents would no longer be stationed in county jails.
“This approach will address concerns from some in the community about the racial profiling and unfair targeting of folks who have not committed crimes,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “However, our vote also signals a desire to cooperate with the federal government in the development of the Priority Enforcement Program so that dangerous and convicted felons are no longer on our streets.”