MAYWOOD, Calif. - City Council in this predominantly Hispanic Los Angeles suburb has passed a resolution prohibiting local police from taking on immigration enforcement duties.
Maywood's resolution, passed unanimously 5-0 late Tuesday, also promised to reject any future federal law mandating cooperation between police and immigration officials in the city of 45,000 residents.
"We want to make clear that our police department will not become immigration agents," said mayor Thomas Martin. "We also want to send a message to places like Costa Mesa that police should be focused on gangs and drugs, and not overextending their resources."
In December, Costa Mesa voted to train police officers to help enforce immigration laws, a step that a handful of forces nationwide have taken since a federal law allowing it was passed in 1996.
Currently, municipalities have the option of enforcing immigration law, though a handful of immigration reform bills being considered by Congress would make it mandatory.
Bruce Leflar, Maywood's police chief, said his 43-officer force did not enforce immigration law and had no plans to do so.
Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Maywood's decision wouldn't impact the agency's ability to enforce immigration law there.