On Saturday, on the eve of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in cities across America, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a video on Twitter in which he told illegal immigrants, “Rest assured, here in Los Angeles we are not coordinating with ICE.”
The tweet was captioned, “A message for all Angelenos: Here in Los Angeles, we will not be coordinating with ICE. Your city is on your side, we are in this together.”
Garcetti began by noting the actions ICE would implement on Sunday: “We’ve all heard reports that the Trump administration is threatening to round up and deport thousands of immigrant families in cities across America this weekend.”
He continued with advice for illegal immigrants:
No matter their immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know their rights and how to exercise them. Remember: you have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to open your door to an ICE agent that doesn't have a warrant signed by a judge. You have the right to speak to a lawyer before signing any documents or speaking to law enforcement. And, if you need help finding an attorney, you can call 311 and learn more about our Justice Fund and other resources that offer legal support. And whenever possible, keep a record of everything that happens. Take note of an officer's name and badge number, of when and where you are being questioned, so you can use that information in your own defense.
Garcetti then made it clear that he was against ICE: “And most importantly, I want you to know, you do not need to be afraid. Your city is on your side, and rest assured, here in Los Angeles we are not coordinating with ICE.”
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, standing next to Garcetti, added:
Our police force does not do the job of federal law enforcement. So I want to reiterate what the mayor just said: The Los Angeles Police Department is not assisting ICE in any way. We will not enforce immigration laws that are civil in nature and fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Immigration is a federal matter. Safety is a police matter, and we're not going to mix those two. Everything we do is focused on what’s best for the security and safety of all Angelenos, and consistent with our commitment to constitutional policing and deepening our community partnerships. Simply put, we are here to protect and serve all the people of Los Angeles, regardless of their immigration status.
Garcetti concluded, “In Los Angeles, we draw strength from the diverse dynamic communities that call our city home, and we support immigrant families, because they’re our friends, neighbors, colleagues, confidants, our fellow taxpayers, local business owners, and co-workers. For us, this isn’t partisan politics; it’s about being a good neighbor. It’s about who we are as Angelenos and who we should always be as Americans. And we will never let fear and intimidation win the day. We are in this together. And we believe that Los Angeles, and the United states, are places where every family should remain together, where everyone should feel safe, and where everybody belongs.”
As The Daily Mail noted of acting ICE Director Matt Albence, “Albence told Fox News that enforcement operations would target families who entered the country illegally then mostly failed to attend court hearings to pursue an asylum claim.”