(Sacramento) – Legislation was introduced today that would urge the Federal Government to end the predatory and deceitful impersonation tactics currently employed by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE). Throughout California, ICE impersonates officials from various enforcement agencies in order trick immigrants into meetings only to detain and deport them.
“The shameful ruses used by ICE are not welcome in our state and need to stop immediately,” said AJR 9 author Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. “The predatory practice of impersonation undermines the trust that our communities have placed in the various agencies and departments that are here to protect them and are in direct contradiction to the values we hold as a State.”
Executive Order 137687 by President Trump expanded ICE’s use of federal agencies throughout the United States on January 25th, 2017. This executive order strengthened the already disturbing practices ICE employs while apprehending immigrants. ICE conducts ruses such as imitating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct fake training sessions in order to make arrests. Such deceit only serves to erode the trust our communities have placed in such institutions that keep all Californian’s safe.
In addition to impersonating officials from agencies like OSHA, ICE has a tendency to use extreme force in apprehending immigrants. ICE officers brandish fire arms while conducting raids in order to invoke fear in those that are targeted. ICE also engages in the forceful detention of immigrants without probable cause, and collateral arrests of those not originally targeted. Further, its institutional racism unfairly targets Latinos. Ninety-five percent of immigrants apprehended by ICE are Latino.
Previous legislation like AB 1440 (Kalra) 2017, made clear that ICE officers are not California Peace Officers. That bill explicitly separated California Peace Officers from ICE who misrepresent local law enforcement personnel, but it does not prevent them from employing these deceitful ruses and tactics. Senate Bill 54 (De León) 2017 ends information sharing of immigration status between local law enforcement and ICE.
“These tactics to impersonate our trusted public enforcement entities in California should be considered a violation of our rule of law,” added Garcia. “California will not tolerate a perpetual culture of manufactured fear at the hand of the federal government and President Trump.”
ICE officers continue impersonate officials from various agencies, including California Law Enforcement Officers in order to make arrests. ICE operates with blatant disregard to existing legislation; and in many instances without the authority of the local law enforcement they are pretending to be.
The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.