(Los Angeles, CA) Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), released the following statement today in response to a new report by the Office of Inspector General County of Los Angeles. The report found Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department staff shared detailed information about inmates held in its jails directly with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
The new report raises serious questions about collaboration between the sheriff’s department and federal immigration officials and contradicts previous public statements by the department indicating it did not provide specific inmate release data directly to ICE agents.
“The reports of acknowledged falsity in the Sheriff’s Department’s public statements about cooperation with ICE identify a serious breach of public trust. The County should demand from the Sheriff a plan to rebuild public trust. At minimum, that plan must include strong and verifiable efforts to break the apparently cozy relationship between Sheriff’s deputies and ICE agents. Promises that practices have changed, without accountability and verifiability, will not suffice here.”