Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other law enforcement officials from across the nation were in Washington, D.C., Wednesday for discussions with federal officials on border security and immigration reform.
Among those scheduled to join Baca at the White House were officials from the National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police and former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.
They will discuss immigration-related issues with such officials as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin, Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West and Director of White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz, according to the sheriff’s department.
“It’s important for the public to trust their local law enforcement and to be able to call on them when needed. That relationship is compromised when otherwise law-abiding people are afraid of deportation,” Baca said in a statement announcing his Washington visit.
The discussions come a little more than a week after a bipartisan group of U.S. senators proposed a framework for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.
“We need help in Washington so that we can focus on catching criminals, rather than sacrificing priorities to play the role of immigration agent,” Baca said. “Immigration reform will strengthen security in communities across the country.”