Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents commonly wear uniforms that read “POLICE ICE” on the back – but are they cops?
Absolutely. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency, thus ICE agents can be called “police.” They’ve been doing it for years.
Even so, LA police officers are complaining that ICE agents are endangering public safety by identifying themselves as police.
“It is the universally recognized term for law enforcement and our personnel routinely interact with individuals from around the world,” explains ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez. “In the often dangerous law enforcement arena, being able to immediately identify yourself as law enforcement may be a life or death issue.”
This argument is not new, but it has come to a head following Donald Trump’s election and his executive orders on immigration policy and declaration of the end of sanctuary cities.
On Feb. 23rd, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti sent a letter asking ICE officials to change their behavior:
“For 40 years, the LAPD and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office have worked to gain the trust, respect, and cooperation of all our city’s residents. This hard-won confidence makes all of Los Angeles safer, encouraging witnesses and victims of crime to come forward irrespective of their immigration status.”
The letter blames ICE agents for “eroding the public safety in our city” by masquerading as police officers. “In Los Angeles, the term ‘police’ is synonymous with the Los Angeles Police Department, so for ICE agents to represent themselves as police misleads the public into believing they are interacting with LAPD…LAPD does not initiate police action with the objective of determining a person’s immigration status.”
The letter was also signed by LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and LA City Council President Herb J. Wesson.
PB views this letter as a blatant announcement to illegals that the city police are on their side and won’t enforce certain laws. The demand that ICE agents change their behavior is a shocking defiance of federal law.
Los Angeles has been a “sanctuary city” since 1979. Last month, LA Police Chief Charlie Beck reassured the city’s illegal population that these policies won’t be changing. “Your status has nothing to do with your contact with Los Angeles Police Department,” he said. “We will not give you to ICE. We will not refer you to ICE.”