Guide to Laws Related to Immigrants and Non Citizens in Los Angeles

Most immigration related laws are made at the federal and state level, so please see our Guide to Laws Related to Immigrants in California, and our Guide to Immigration & Travel to the U.S. Statue of Liberty

1. Immigrants & law enforcement

What are sanctuary laws? What is a sanctuary city or state?

So-called “sanctuary laws” generally affirm a city or state’s policy position that only FEDERAL immigration officials (such as ICE) are allowed to enforce federal immigration laws. They may also prohibit certain cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration officials.

Is California a sanctuary state?

Yes. California law does not allow state or local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, leaving this to the federal government. The California sanctuary law also does not allow state or local officials to ask about a person’s immigration status, and also prohibits police from working with federal immigration authorities unless a person has been convicted of significant crimes.

Is Los Angeles a sanctuary city?

Yes. The city of Los Angeles does not allow local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws, leaving this to federal agents. It prohibits LAPD from cooperating with an ICE request to detain someone unless a judge issues the order.

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