Across the country, law enforcement is grappling with the moral and legal complexity of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While ICE continues to send out requests to detain inmates on their behalf, recent court cases like Roy v. Los Angeles have limited the ability of law enforcement to comply. However these issues aren’t new - as records released last week show, California has been documenting the debate over cooperating with immigration officials for over 25 years.
Beginning in the early ’50s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping what would become an extensive file on the singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, tracking with great interest her comments in the international press critical of racial discrimination in the U.S. Though the Bureau never formally opened an investigation into Baker, it fielded several requests from the Immigration and Naturalization Service to collect derogatory information that would help make the case for denying her a visa and barring her entry to the country.