Metro’s top cop says nothing has changed in the police department following the president’s executive orders to crack down on illegal immigration.
“We don’t do anything proactive in the field as far as immigration status,” said Sheriff Joe Lombardo. “Our officers are directed by policy not to arrest anybody for immigration issues or confront them in reference to immigration issues or question them about immigration issues.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of 32 in the country participating in the 287g program, which allows officers to enforce federal immigration laws. However, the program is only in effect at the Clark County Detention Center.
“It’s been very successful, and we’ve taken some of the people that you wouldn’t want in your community out of the country and it’s helped us control crime,” Lombardo said.
The program allows corrections officers to access a federal database to identify undocumented immigrants in custody.
“So those individuals that come in under the 287g program, we evaluate them compared to that directive, and then ICE is notified,” according to Lombardo.
Steven Grammas, the president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, does not believe they have the resources to enforce immigration laws, on top of fighting crime.
“I think tasking them with things like that may slow down the process of doing what they’re supposed to do, which is serving our community,” Grammas said.
Grammas reaffirmed that local police officers aren’t out on the streets, targeting the undocumented community.
“Don’t be afraid to come forward if you’re a victim or a witness to crime because you’re fearing that you’re going to be deported,” said Grammas.
Earlier this week, a Senate Bill was introduced before legislators that would prohibit police from using local resources for immigration enforcement.
But, for now, Sheriff Lombardo is not directly commenting on the recent executive orders on immigration but says nothing has changed in the police department.
“Let’s wait and see what happens,” he said.