Earlier this week, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to extend a controversial partnership that allows immigration officials to target non-legal status inmates who have been convicted of serious crimes, and determine whether they can be deported once their sentences are up.
The remaining two supes abstained.
Immigration activists have already started to speak out against the decision, saying it only serves to drive a further wedge between residents and law enforcement officials within the city's immigrant communities.
The program itself is simple- immigration officials placed within county lockups, such as the Twin Towers Jail, and their job is to help train deputies to determine whether a particular convicted inmate has legal immigrant status. Those who don't are turned over to Immigrations Customs and Enforcement (ICE) after their sentences are up.
One of the abstainers said that he wants to see more data on the program before he chimes in. Namely, he'd like to have greater access to information pertaining to the types of "serious crimes" the undocumented inmates had been convicted of.
Bumps in the road
Immigrant rights proponents said individuals who had been sentenced for non-serious offenses are being targeted for deportation.
One woman said she was turned over to ICE after officers arrested her for "illegal ice cream sales" outside her son's LA-area elementary school. She feels the ICE partnership is not only unfair, but it's detrimental to the family unit.
Another supervisor who has been a strong supporter of the program said her office would look into the circumstances of that particular case because she wants to make sure that only the most serious undocumented offenders are flagged for deportation.
The partnership is supposed to be about making the county a safer place to live, she said. ICE said they didn't have any immediate data on the number of people that had been identified or the crimes they had been sentenced for.
Read the full story here: LA County supervisors vote to extend ICE deal in jails