RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Speakers spent several hours sharing their opinions on the idea of Riverside becoming a sanctuary city Tuesday night.

“We must sit on the side of justice, humanity, compassion, righteousness,” one speaker said.

Outside a large group gathered holding signs like “we are one” while inside, City Council listened even though becoming a sanctuary city wasn’t up for a vote or on the agenda.

“I think I’m unlikely to put it on the agenda,” Councilman Mike Gardner said.  “I have some concern about the possible negative ramifications of being a sanctuary city.”

Councilman Gardner says the city is already doing what’s important to protect the people in Riverside.

“A sanctuary city is not a good idea. We just need to get to following the laws of the land,” Todd Hurlburt, who is against a sanctuary city, said.

Fauzia Rizbi came from Corona to share her support for sanctuary.

“Fear mongering, the sadness within our community. We want to make sure everybody’s welcome. We are all together,” she said.

Ken Hunter, from Redlands, fears federal funds could be taken away and his real estate business could suffer if home prices drop.

“Because not everybody agrees with this and there’s a lot of stigma behind it,” Hunter said.

“I don’t want to live in a city where people are afraid and have to hide,” Brenda Bombela, who is for the movement, said.

Another councilman says more talk is needed and would like to move the idea to a human relation commission for more discussion.


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