Sheriff McDonnell’s Statement Regarding President Trump Immigration Policies

“The executive order does not change the mission of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Our priority continues to be protecting our public. We accomplish this by gaining the trust of our communities and following the California Trust Act of 2014 and the Truth Act of 2016. Our department policy clearly states that our deputies do not ask for one’s immigration status. Immigration enforcement remains a federal responsibility.”


Sheriff McDonnell’s Letter Opposing SB 54

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department must respectfully oppose Senate Bill (SB) 54, which would restrict local law enforcement's ability to cooperate with our federal law enforcement partners.

SB 54 prohibits my agency from responding to federal requests for notification when one of my jail facilities houses someone charged with a crime who might be the subject of an immigration enforcement action. State law, the TRUST Act, already governs when and how a local entity may detain a person subject to an immigration hold. The TRUST Act is sufficient and was passed in order to prevent the unlawful over detention of those subjects of immigrations enforcement action.

Currently, when an inmate being released is subject to an immigration enforcement action, they are apprehended by agents in a safe and controlled manner during the release process at a county jail. SB 54 would not allow the safe transfer of custody, rather it would force immigration enforcement agents into our communities in order to search out and find the person they seek. While doing this, they will most surely cast a wide net over our communities apprehending and detaining those not originally the target of the enforcement actions. The result of this will be complete and total loss of trust and cooperation with any law enforcement agency.

SB 54 states, whenever any person confined to county jail is serving a term for the conviction of a misdemeanor offense and has a prior conviction for a violent felony listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, or has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that has all of the elements of a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the sheriff may notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the scheduled release of that person. Unfortunately, 667 .5 (c) P.O. only speaks to a very limited list of
"violent felonies." SB 54 does not seem to acknowledge the following crimes as "violent," but, I certainly do; assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an occupied dwelling, shooting at an occupied building, shooting at an occupied vehicle, or shooting at an occupied aircraft, rape where the victim is unconscious of the act, rape by intoxicating substance, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon by a state prison inmate, or exploding a destructive device or explosive with the intent to injure, just to name a few. I think we can agree these crimes and many more are extremely violent felonies.

Although I appreciate our thoughtful conversations regarding SB 54, and your staff war king with my staff over the past weeks, I do not think your recent amendments address the underlying issues with your bill. For that reason, and the reasons addressed in this letter, I must oppose SB 54.

Sheriff McDonnell Discusses SB54 with Reporters

This video was taken on March 17th, 2017, after the graduation of Academy Class 419.  The Sheriff offered brief statements regarding the proposed legislation during an impromptu news conference. 

List of Immigration Detainer Acceptance Charges Pursuant to the Trust Act


Sheriff Jim McDonnell Recaps Meeting with Community Leaders Discussing Concerns About SB54