Immigration Law Enforcement Police

33 Prosecutors & Law Enforcement Officials Sign Amicus Brief Supporting LA Lawsuit Challenging DOJ, for Yanking Public Safety Grants From “Sanctuary” Cities

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

On Monday, a group of 33 current and former prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and others in California and across the nation filed an amicus brief in support of a federal lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles challenging the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to award important community policing grants to those jurisdictions that help the feds conduct immigration enforcement, while denying so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions.

In 2017, the DOJ denied Los Angeles officials’ request for more than $3 million in grant money from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) fund an expansion of a much-praised community policing program that has helped reduce violence in housing projects.

The DOJ acknowledged that those jurisdictions that promised they were willing “to cooperate with federal immigration authorities” were given priority over those jurisdictions that did not vow to assist in immigration enforcement.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer’s lawsuit says the preferential treatment is unconstitutional gives LA and other jurisdictions “an untenable choice.” They can either “commit to participating in federal civil immigration investigation and enforcement efforts, or sacrifice funds for public safety and community policing,” according to the suit.

“…These inducements would dangerously impact local communities, by requiring jurisdictions to prioritize civil immigration enforcement over public safety or else lose funding for important public safety and community initiatives,” the lawsuit states. “These requirements would cause community members to distrust the police and justice system officials and thereby result in a decrease in cooperation,” making it harder for prosecutors and local law enforcement officers to protect their communities.

“Nearly four decades ago, the Los Angeles Police Department adopted pioneering policies recognizing that community trust is an essential foundation for effective policing,” said Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor (now executive director Fair and Just Prosecution) who signed the brief. “The Justice Department’s new approach–part of its broader effort to entangle local law enforcement in immigration enforcement–threatens to dismantle the critical bonds of trust that Los Angeles and many other cities have worked so hard to build.”

Krinsky refers to the LAPD’s Special Order 40, a 1979 mandate that prevents police from questioning people with the sole intention of determining their immigration status. Special Order 40 was implemented by then-LAPD Chief Daryl Gates along with the LA City Council, so that undocumented immigrants could feel safe reporting crimes and otherwise engaging with law enforcement without the fear of deportation. Under the mandate, LAPD officers are not to arrest or book anyone solely for violating immigration law.

Ronal Serpas, who has headed the Nashville PD, New Orleans PD, and Washington State Patrol, blasted the “misguided” DOJ policy, which “is making local communities less safe and limiting the discretion of police departments across the country. In my experience, the police officers who patrol the streets should be looked to for direction in those communities and are in the best position to know which policies will make their neighborhoods safe.”

In addition to Krinsky and Serpas, other signatories included San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, Contra Costa DA Diana Becton, Manhattan DA Cy Vance, and William Lansdowne, former police chief for San Diego, San Jose, and Richmond, CA.

You can read the brief as well as the list of those who signed it: here.

In Other Immigration-Related News: ICE Issues Directive for Arresting Immigrants in Courthouses Nationwide

On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced formal procedures surrounding immigration-related arrests at courthouses.

ICE says agents will not conduct controversial “sweeps” in courthouses, but will specifically target “aliens with criminal convictions, gang members, national security or public safety threats, aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States but have failed to depart, and aliens who have re-entered the country illegally after being removed.”

The directive says that other undocumented individuals within the courthouses, like family members of people ICE targets, or people who are serving as witnesses in a court proceeding “will not be subject to civil immigration enforcement action”—unless they interfere with ICE’s efforts to arrest “targeted” immigrants or if an individual “poses a threat to public safety.”

“Individuals entering courthouses are typically screened by law enforcement personnel to search for weapons and other contraband. Accordingly, civil immigration enforcement actions taken inside courthouses can reduce safety risks to the public, targeted alien(s), and ICE officers and agents.” These arrests, “when practicable” will be conducted “discreetly to minimize their impact on court proceedings,” according to the directive.

The directive also blamed sanctuary city policies for forcing the DOJ to ramp up their immigration enforcement activity in courthouses.

“Courthouse arrests are often necessitated by the unwillingness of jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons and jails,” the directive states.

The directive says that ICE agents will “generally avoid” those areas of courthouses not used for criminal cases—like family court and small claims court.

The announcement comes after nearly a year of criticism from advocates as well as local and state officials over courthouse arrests, including from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who blasted the feds for “stalking undocumented immigrants” in and around California court buildings.

“If followed correctly, this written directive is a good start. It’s essential that we protect the integrity of our state court justice system and protect the people who use it,” Cantil-Sakauye said.

Not everyone is pleased with the directive, however.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area’s Jodi Hernandez, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said immigration agents should “stay away from our courthouses.”

And on Twitter, the Anti-Defamation League called ICE’s new directive “deeply concerning.” Courthouse arrests, ADL said, “have chilling effects & deter individuals from accessing our justice system. Courthouses must be treated as sensitive locations & should be off-limits for #ICE enforcement.”


  • Glad to see that many highly regarded and influential professionals refused to drink the Kool-aid of A.G. Sessions. Btw, the Brief is public record with nothing to hide.

  • Why didn’t Sheriff McDonnell sign this? I know he is close to Miriam Krinsky. She worked on his campaign and then he got her a County job as his Special Advisor.

    • Encouraging that he did not. It may be difficult for someone who has devoted much of their life to enforcing the law to now work against it’s enforcement.

      • Enforcing the law is nothing more than a tool towards a goal – public safety. If you think of law enforcement as an end unto itself, you’re missing the big picture. McDonnell is just catering to his dwindling fan base and grandstanding, devoid of any principle.

  • Let’s hope this goes straight to the SCOTUS and bypasses the activist, biased judicial districts. It’s so hypocritical and “transparent” with respect to the political motivation no behind this. The repeated talking point liberal/progressives rehash about immigrant communities not cooperating with law enforcement is such BS. If you obey all laws and respect the immigration progress you would have nothing to worry.

    These same liberal/progressive groups, politicians that now ally themselves with law enforcement regarding this issue are the same ones who criticized, grandstanded and crucified law enforcement officers when it was politically advantageous to do so.

    Laws were put in place to be followed. If the Federal law makers see fit to change the law let them do it…otherwise just shut up, obey and enforce the law. Just as the majority of law abiding, rule following citizens don’t have the luxury to pick and choose what laws they will respect and follow, neither should an illegal immigrant be given a pass for disrespecting our countries rules, immigration process and laws.

    By supporting one group breaking our countries laws, you are in effect not only discriminating against all of the law abiding citizens, but sending a message to all the hundreds of thousands of legal emigrants waiting in line in their home countries fleeing war, poverty, genocide as they to seek out a better life for their families.

    • How quaint! You actually think people wait patiently in line while enduring war, poverty, and genocide? Please tell me you are kidding.

  • Seems not so long ago liberals were wringing their hands over “over policing”. Now they’re howling cause Sessions won’t fork over some of that sweet federal funding for more police. Aren’t cops supposed to be the problem? Very confusing

  • Yours truly, A former staunch Orange County Republican and former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates (R.I.P.) implemented Special Order 40. Surely it made a helluva difference in policing with substantial results. Yeah I know. So stop blaming the Left and Liberals. Given Sessions background , it is no secret that the only thing he’s hiding is his white hood. Do your due diligence to find out.

    • Well if Federal Law was being broken when Special Order 40 was in place, that does not make it right either.

      No professional law enforcement officer in this state, in this day, is going to be able to stop, detain and arrest someone solely on the belief they are here illegally. If an arrest is approved with this being the sole pre-text, shame on the officer, his command and the courts for allowing it to stand. However, if in the course of any lawful detention and investigation, a warrant or ICE hold is discovered, the person should be held to answer. It’s a crime not to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and sets a bad precedent, especially when the law is reasonable. We’re not talking about laws against interracial marriages, school integration, etc. which were being unfairly applied to US citizens either.

        • Which court? I think we would all agree that the old belief of the learned folks in black robes on the bench are “apolitical, unbiased and neutral” went out the window a long time ago.

  • Let them sue. Who cares? Let L.A. rot, I live in the burbs. Course I work where it smells of urine and weed thanks to the left.

  • They can decriminalize all they want. And they’re getting really good at it. However, this one may cost them some snaps.

    Funny how the left wants it both ways

    • You finger pointers are the true dividers of America. Even the so-called Right are divided amongst themselves. America will continue to be the world’s laughing stock with Trump in office along with his followers. Ask Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush how do they really feel about Trump. So much for unity.

  • We are in the business of providing public safety, period. We are not in the business of picking and choosing who is worthy of the safety we provide because of their immigration status. Three separate and credible studies have identified a major drop in reported crimes of violence against women as a direct result of Session’s deportation efforts. Trump doesn’t care about the fate of all these victims as long as he can play to his xenophobic fan base.

    Cheer on the POTUS all you want, demonize all your straw men all you want, but at the end of the day your legacy will be nothing to be proud of.

  • Maj. Kong, its not very confusing. Maybe the problem is you, you are confused. You guys would have made great Nazis – just follow the law, regardless. There are laws and there are laws. Somethings are universally wrong and almost every culture disapproves of such acts, such as stealing and murder. Others, we decide what the law is, marijuana, for example, or the drinking age. We grow and learn as a people, and we change the law. Its funny how you want people to come here “legally,” like your forefathers. But, there was a time when any starving, malnourished, toothless, Irishman could just walk off the boat because there were no immigration laws, no such thing as “illegal.” Once people of color started coming, we come up with immigration laws. At one point it was against the law for a white woman to marry a black man. No doubt you would have arrested the black man if you were around then. Be honest. Would you have arrested the black man? You can’t hide your racism behind your law and order garb.

    And, if we as a society decide we don’t want to follow the Keebler Elf’s or our Orange commander’s pronouncements, isn’t that our choice. We let the courts decide. The problem is that you are not a true law and order guy, but rather you are for your law and order. If you like it, its good law, if you don’t, people are stupid. I see nothing wrong or contradictory with saying there are problems with the police and how they police and telling the federal government to give us our fucken’ money. Hell, California, with all its problems and the bitching and whining your ilk do about it, subsidizes the hill and country folk. There is a reason folks want to come to California from all over the world. They are not going to Kentucky or Georgia or some other godforsaken state in Trump country.

    • Let’s not draw to many parallels between the black American civil rights experience issue and the immigration or LGBTQ issue. The Federal Government saw the light so to speak, before many of the states and had to impose “it’s” will if you will, to get them in line with Federal Law. Just because you and a few outfits states believe “you are right” doesn’t make you right.

    • Oh….”the Hill and Country Folk”. How condescendingly elitist and “liberal of you to refer to people this way. What a hypocritical bigot. That’s just who the Democrats lost the election and will continue to do so for a long time. Hillary Clinton went a long way in repulsing moderate Democrats in the mid-west and California by saying crap like that. Out of touch, Holly weird Sitcom money and illegal immigrant votes couldn’t win you the last election and won’t steal you the next at this rate.

      The libtards and their policies have made California the draw for all the homeless, mentally ill, illegal immigrants and other dregs of the nation and world.

  • You’re under the impression Obama or any leftist cares for the true safety of women, seriously? I watched as Hollywood idolized our last president and some stood and cheered for the child rapist Polanski. Since the revelations of this past year more victims of his have come forward, victims of many of the mostly left in Hollywood and our most left president wanted to turn us into another nation where Muslim immigrants are terrorizing females daily. He cared for their safety? No, not him or any leftist. #metoo showed where the real problem was and who let it grow not caring a bit about our nation’s females and still don’t.

    • Is that any different than the right idolizing our predator in chief or the child predator turned senate candidate Moore? Kettle, meet the pot. In the hypocrisy contest, the far right grabbed the lead when the evangelical base looked the other way supporting candidates they formerly tarred and feathered so they could score legislation in their favor.

      • Don’t expect a reasonable or thought provoking response from the whiner known as “Surefire”. Trust me when I tell you, he is not on your level. His one dimensional way of thinking is a throwback to a mob of unintelligent goons who thinks that books are decorations. You already know the type.

  • “If you like it , it’s a good law, if you don’t ,people are stupid.” Exactly the point. Immigration laws are the laws of the land. Cf ,you just made Trump’s case.

  • CF; You only follow the courts decisions when you agree. When they rule against your moronic lefty agenda, you finally find the energy to put the video game controller down, get up off of mommy’s couch and go block a freeway overpass or break some windows with your protest sign. That’s who you are and you know it.

  • Conspiracy, “the federal government saw the light….” please, learn some history. It took people, marching, sitting, protesting, swinging and knocking shit down.. It took groups like SNCC, SCLC and the Black Panthers, UFW, all using different tactics. And, even Malcolm and NOI, for some of your people to “see the light.” Do not be afraid of change. 70-80 years ago you would have been bitching about socialists and communist, but now you have a nice pension, set work hours, health insurance and overtime because of them. And, as we recently saw, you can get a salary, a pension and disability, all at the same time.

    And, Conspiracy and Surefire, sexual harassment, assault and rape against women isn’t a liberal issue. It’s a problem across the board, and one defined more by power than political persuasion. The history of the right is littered with god’s high rollers that screamed to their country flock about the evils of liberals, yet were diddling boys on the side, doing prostitutes and everyone else who crossed their path. And, don’t be a hypocrite. Our Orange commander in chief is among them. Do you really doubt that? Is that fake news? Please share your thoughts. Don’t be a hypocrite. Its unbecoming. And, let us be honest, how many of our fine men in uniform have been caught with their pants down. I heard that there were even some fine officers diddling little girls in the cadet program, or, as you may call it, singles club.

    Maj. Kong – Immigration laws are the law. And? You catch, they fight, and a judge decides. Criminal laws are laws, but do you really believe the citizenry should not challenge them. Do you really not believe that people have a right to petition their government? Now, be honest, would you have arrested the black man who married the white woman back in the 60s when that was still the law in some states? How about the man having anal sex with another man in the 90s in Texas and 12 or 13 other states that made sodomy illegal? Be honest. How about the black man who drank out of the white water fountain in the 50s? You would have made a great Nazi. You were born in the wrong times.

    Ownership, I agree with some laws and not others. I try to think. I do not accept everything I am told or follow all orders. I recommend you read the constitution, starting with the first amendment, which protects the people’s right to speak (yes, they can say just about anything, even call you a pig), freedom of the press (yes, the NY Times can call out our Orange commander in chief), to assemble ( yes, people can protest, even for immigrants), and, listen to this, to petition the government for a redress of grievances. You can work your way down to the 4th Amendment that protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures (that, believe it or not, applies to you and the other cowboys in uniform). You can then continue to the 14th that states all persons born in the US are citizens (holy shit, this applies to the children of the illegals, as you call them).

    Finally, I do not know LATBG, but I would venture to say he is too smart for you. Or maybe, he is just of average intelligence, but your intellectual deficit makes him look like a genius. That is partially why I like this site. I’m not particularly smart, average, at best, but maybe even below average. This site, however, with the fine folks like you, Surefire, Conspiracy and Maj. Kong, makes me feel like a genius. Thank you, guys.

  • Yet I throw a fact out at you and you just go another race based rant full of meaningless drivel. At least you came clean about your lack of smarts, big surprise.

    • Surefire, in reference to CF’s last paragraph he pinned the tail on the Jackass = you and your cookie cutter cohorts. You specifically are not use to a person of color that is educated coupled with common sense to beat your silly ass into submission. No, you can’t kill C.F. and plant a throw away gun on him

  • Boy…CF sure can “yell, kick, scream and mentally breakdown” an argument with the best of the deranged, mentally ill, sick, neurotic, raving lunatics out there.

        • Chi Fire, are you new? cf is a long standing troll on this blog and in all likelihood a middle age white guy and a current or former cop. He changes name from time to time and under the name “cf” he’s been spewing this flavor of liberal “talking points”. I think he’s either trying to be ironic or he’s getting revenge from the kind of guys who use to take his lunch money. I’m sure he gets a good laugh from guys like you who fall for his shtick and even wind up brown nosing his fake persona.

  • Chicago Fire, unfortunately its not magic. I think I may be too verbose, and for Surefire and Conspiracy, I think their intellectual gears come too a halt if they have to read too many words, especially if they are multi-syllabic. The real magic is created by these fine gentlemen – SureFire, Conspiracy, Maj. Kong and their ilk. Day after day they make common sense disappear and they pull shit out of their asses.

    • Oh….take off the brown colored glasses and don’t flatter yourself. The biased, one sided, name calling you often resort when your arguments run out of steam are representative of an impetuous child who sinks to the most infantile and base levels whenever they don’t get there way. Don’t get it twisted and think you have intellectual abilities surpassing anyone posting on this site.

      Continue to sit in front of your computer, critique and “not have any real world experience” to draw from in any of the topics you critique. You are a mere observer, watcher, Monday morning quarterback, dilettante (CF…look it up), hack….so get over yourself.

      Was that to simplistic for you to understand or do I need to provide a common sense translator for you?

      • @ Conspiracy, with you being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I would hate to see the dull one. Please don’t blame the spell checker.
        1)……”they don’t get there (their) way.”
        2) “Was that to (too) simplistic”…….

        • If that’s the best comeback you got my initial assessment stands and my ego is truly and forever wounded by your grammatical prowess and stinging pen strikes.

          You just keep on correcting other peoples grammar and stabbing away with your fierce keyboard skills. Sigh….I’ll just continue working hard, doing “real work” and gaining practical real-world experience.

  • “Pull shit out of their asses” pretty stupid , after all isn’t that where shit comes from? I’m sure Chicago fire thought is was profound, but then again he thinks you’re a person of color ,so he’s not exactly the sharpest tool, if you know what I mean.

  • Hmm…..Celeste Freeman, “CF”, “Chicago Fire”. Strangely enough, I’m thinking of the book Sybil right now.

    • @ Surefire… Maybe you can let your cohorts know that I’ve checked you long before C.F. arrived. Try well over two years ago. They can’t believe that C.F. is the only one to call them and you on your bullshit. @Conspiracy, do your homework and go back several years to any rant made by the whiner “Surefire”

  • CF; Your Temper Tantrums crack me up!!! They always come when we slam your baseless, overly emotional and completely ignorant opinions.

    The Snowflake in you is so predictable and just makes us laugh.

  • C. Fire, pro-tip :spell checking is considered chicken shit, we all make errors and pointing them out isn’t an argument, just a weak attempt at shaming. Try arguing ideas instead.

    • I would hate to see any police reports that you attempt to write. Maybe the backwoods Podunk P.D. that hired you finds it acceptable. LOL
      Btw, you don’t want to go “toe to toe” with me. No argument here….just facts.

  • Conspiracy – I underestimated you. You are a genius. You figured it out. I am Celeste and I like to mess with angry, portly men in uniform. Now, if you could figure out who killed Biggie. Alas, because he was black, why even try.

    Ownership, I’m glad I make you laugh. Otherwise, no doubt you would be depressed thinking about all these Negros and Mexicans in southern California, and how they do not respect middle-aged white guys in uniform like in the good ‘ol days.

    Chicago Fire, you are right, you do not want to see those Maj Kong’s reports. I have seen a few. There isn’t much substance because they are written in crayon. For the suspect description, they always say, Black Male.

    OK, gentlemen, let’s move on.

    • CF…..Ohh…Ahh….you sure put everybody in their place, set the record straight and gave them a piece of your mind.

      Now let’s see if you can still eat and chew gum at the same time after the loss.

      You still report back to insults when your challenge and boxed into a corner. What a petulant chat led.

      I’m sure any one line police report written in crayon, on stone tablets or with charcoal has more clarity, factual basis and truth than any of the biased, child like crap you spew forth. I’ve seen better from an explorer.

      Amateur, you couldn’t even hang with the “little boys”.

  • Chicago Fire (Reg) you have never checked me or anyone else and certainly can’t intimidate me, please try that weak ass lame Reggie B.S. with someone else. Think I forgot, oh please. It’s never worked and you should know better. Not even man enough to stay with one sign on, that tells all anyone needs to know about you. Now another cop car shot up a few hours ago, Celeste don’t care, cop haters Reg and CF don’t care but people actually out there trying to keep a handle on the animals do, you others just don’t count. Good night girls.

  • Of the 7 officers gunned down this year that have died from their wounds, wonder what the races of the suspects were hmmm?

  • Conspiracy, I wouldn’t doubt you’ve “seen better from an explorer.” Would those be love letters? I have heard what some of you do with Explorers.

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