Last Updated: December 15, 2011
Filed on behalf of California taxpayer Rudy Moreno, this lawsuit focuses on a California statute related to the communication between the LAPD and federal immigration officials when an individual is arrested for various narcotics offenses. California Health and Safety Code Section 11369 states:
Where there is reason to believe that any person arrested for [various narcotics offenses] may not be a citizen of the United States, the arresting agency shall notify the appropriate agency of the United States having charge of deportation matters.
However, when someone is arrested for a narcotics offense, and the LAPD determines that person was born outside of the United States, an “X” is marked in the “birthplace field” of the booking form. This information is then uploaded to the LAPD’s database and electronically transferred to a computer system used by Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department (LASD) has modified this computer system to automatically notify the LASD and a division of the Department of Homeland Security located in Vermont when someone born outside of the United States is arrested on a narcotics offense.Our claim is that this complicated, confusing, and incomplete process is consistent with the law. The California legislature put a specific requirement in place for the LAPD to follow. It requires that the arresting agency directly report information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if there is reason to believe an individual arrested on various narcotics offenses may not be a citizen of the United States. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is not the arresting agency.The Appellate Court upheld the lower court’s ruling on January 19, 2010, and the case was closed in April 2010.
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