LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City Councilman Gil Cedillo and Council president Herb Wesson said Thursday that they intend to introduce a motion declaring Los Angeles a “sanctuary city,” after receiving a report from the city’s immigrant advocate that provided information on the meaning of the term.
The report from Peter Schey was delivered to the Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity Committee, which Cedillo chairs, and included a series of recommendations for the city to undertake in response to recent immigration policies announced by President Donald Trump.
While there is no legal definition of a sanctuary city, it generally applies to municipalities that limit cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement. Embracing the term has become a way for cities to openly defy Trump, who has threatened to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities.
Cedillo said he intends to introduce the motion at Friday’s City Council meeting.
KCAL 9’s Dave Bryan reports the council is on a collision course with Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Although Los Angeles has long limited its cooperation with the feds on immigration, it has not taken on the official identity as a sanctuary city.
Garcetti has resisted calling for Los Angeles to embrace the term because he says it is often used by those looking to harm cities that have friendly immigration policies.
“It is not a term that has meaning,” Garcetti said in an interview today on radio station KNX.
He added, “I’m not going to buy into a frame that somebody else who’s attacking immigrants uses. We are going to tell American stories. This isn’t some outlier where we have to protect people because they are outliers. We protect them because they are children of America.”
But Schey told the committee that embracing the term sanctuary city was an important symbolic move.
“People seem to have strong views on this name thing. My stance has always been that what’s important. Ultimately, yes, that sort of symbolic statement, `We are a city of sanctuary, we are a city of refuge,’ etc., I think it’s important. It sets a certain tone,” he said.
Schey’s report also recommended the city take steps to help immigrants in the country illegally from being detained by federal officials by
facilitating legal advice and representation for them. The report also recommended the city enact a comprehensive anti-immigration ordinance and decriminalize minor offenses likely to be committed by low-income residents.
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