LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The first public meeting of the L.A. City Council’s Committee on Immigrant Affairs started with speaker after speaker and the message was the same Wednesday night: city leaders will not go after undocumented immigrants.
“Los Angeles is and will continue to be a place of refuge for people from all walks of life,” L.A. City Council member David Ryu said.
Another L.A. City Council member, Curren Price, added: “The city of L.A stands ready to fight for injustices targeting our immigrant communities.”
The LAPD is on board as well. Officials say the department is not responsible for the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
“Victims of crime, especially those who can be exploited because of their status and are vulnerable to harm must not fear calling the police for help,” LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos said. “Witnesses to crime similarly, must not fear calling the police.”
And here is where the LA Unified School District stands.
“We want to do whatever we can to make sure our students feel safe, secure are able to go to school and not live in fear,” An LAUSD official said.
Diego Sepulveda, 29, came from Mexico and was undocumented for 24 years. Now a permanent resident, he says these issues hit close to home.
“I might be privileged to be able to be a resident now but it doesn’t mean that my friends, my family, my colleagues are not in danger every single day of being deported,” Sepulveda said.
The committee also moved forward with proposals that will go to the city attorney, who will then prepare them for the city council to vote on them.
“It’ll deal with cost of the city, impact on the city, our efforts to provide this justice fund and the definition what is a sanctuary city. We want to get some clarity about the subject matter we’re talking about,” Immigrant Affairs Committee Chair Gil Cedillo said.