LA County Sheriff’s Department Gave backdoor help to ICE Agents

Credit:Gabriele Maltinti

(ESPAÑOL) The LA County Sheriff’s Department was discovered extending secret cooperation to ICE in identifying and detaining illegal immigrants. This is despite the department going out of its way to reassure that it had set strict limits in its cooperation with ICE officials.

When the president and the attorney general recently demanded that all states and local authorities to comply with federal immigration law by complying with ICE officials, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department took a stand and announced that said officers would have to collect the inmate information from a public website instead of having it delivered on demand.

However, the jail officials granted the ICE agents access to the department’s inmate processing facility and allowed them to set up an office with computers that provided a “constant flow of information regarding prisoners who were soon to be released,” according to a report by an independent watchdog.

The report also noted several instances of the sheriff’s staff providing detailed information on inmates about to be released on ICE’s request. This information included birthdates and other confidential information not usually found in online websites.

The sheriff, Jim McDonnell, did not deny this revelation, stating that “we prioritize maintaining and increasing public trust and always endeavor to provide the public with accurate information. With respect to our statements that we were either no longer providing ICE with lists of individuals being released, or that we did not provide release information to ICE, those statements were not accurate.”

Specifically, ICE had asked local law enforcement agencies to hold on to flagged inmates for up to two days past their scheduled release date to allow them to be taken into custody. This was followed by public department commentary where the department announced it did not provide ICE any data but allowed them to check release dates on its website.

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