President-elect Donald Trump has promised to deport or imprison up to three million undocumented immigrants after he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017. He plans to use state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies to do so. However, several police departments in cities throughout the United States – including Denver – have refused to participate in Trump’s plan to require local and state police departments to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. Trump has threatened to block federal funding for cities such as these that remain “sanctuary cities.”
A statement issued by Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman said, “Immigration enforcement is handled at a federal level, not by local law enforcement. The Denver Police Department has not participated in those enforcement efforts in the past and will not be involved in the future.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has also refused to participate. As the LA Times noted, since 1979, the LAPD has prohibited officers from contacting people with the sole purpose of determining whether they are in the country illegally. Police Chief Charlie Beck states, “I don’t intend on doing anything different. We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
Other cities that have refused to implement this enforcement program include New York, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Chicago.
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