Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez wants to know why reports of sexual assaults in immigrant communities have plummeted since Donald Trump became president and what the police department is doing about it, according to a motion she introduced Wednesday.
The motion asks for the Los Angeles Police Department to report on the number of reported sexual assaults and domestic violence crimes in immigrant communities, and any issues related to immigrants in the country without legal permission refusing to report crimes due to fears of deportation.
The motion also says the report should include information on the LAPD’s strategy for “effectively and compassionately handing these types of cases in immigrant communities.”
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has said that the reports of sexual assaults have fallen dramatically in immigrant neighborhoods this year.
Despite the LAPD’s policy of not routinely asking about someone’s immigration status and not enforcing federal immigration laws, Beck said the drop in reporting was an indication that immigrants in the country without legal permission fear having interactions with the department.
“Those things are of a great concern for us. We need reporting. We also need people to come forward as witnesses,” Beck said earlier this month.
Trump signed an executive order in January that threatened to cut off federal funding to cities that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration law, even thought the cities are not required by law to do so. The order was blocked by a federal judge in April.