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Los Angeles, March 2022: Tents of homeless people outside City Hall. (Photo: Elliott Cowand Jr., Shutterstock)

Immigrant Groups Oppose LA City Council’s Sanctuary City Proposal

GOP, legal migrant groups slam proposal, say it ignores public safety

By Evan Symon, March 10, 2023 2:20 am

Multiple groups in Los Angeles came out in opposition to Tuesday’s Los Angeles City Council to make the city a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants and stop the use of city resources to aid U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

Earlier this week, LA city Councilmembers Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martinez introduced a proposal to make LA a sanctuary city. Under the proposal, city employees would be barred from using city funds or resources to assist ICE officers in the enforcement of federal immigration laws unless it is required by federal or state law, such as in tracking down a known criminal.

“It’s time that LA lives up to its promise to our immigrant communities.” said Hernandez at a press conference on Tuesday. “Symbolic gestures are not enough. Internal policies that can be changed from one day to the next are not enough. Our undocumented residents deserve safety and security. It is long past time for Los Angeles to permanently codify protections for our undocumented community members into city law.”

“Los Angeles is a city of immigrants. As the daughter of two Mexican immigrants myself, I know how important and overdue these protections are to our community members. The city’s current relationship with federal immigration agencies is shaped by an executive directive issued by former Mayor Eric Garcetti and internal LAPD policies. These policies are subject to change under future administrations and have yet to be enshrined as permanent protections for Los Angeles immigrants.”

Groups come out against proposal

While the city previously passed a symbolic “City of Sanctuary” proposal several years ago, the new proposal would make it city law. With LA County and Orange County holding more than 1 million of the entire nations’ 11.1 million illegal immigrants, ICE currently has a large presence in Southern California. And while many in LA support the sanctuary city proposal, on Wednesday and Thursday, multiple groups came out against it in the name of public safety.

“Los Angeles is already experiencing significant increases in crime and declines in our quality of life due to the failure of city leaders and an incompetent District Attorney,” noted Los Angeles Republican Party chairman Tim O’Reilly in a statement. “This misguided effort to bar the use of any city resources or information to prevent apprehension of potential criminals — which could include drug smugglers, violent offenders, and human traffickers — would only undermine the rule of law and threaten public safety for all Angelenos.”

Some immigrant groups are also against LA becoming a sanctuary city due to some gang members and criminals coming to the U.S. along with legitimate migrants wanting to escape their home countries.

“I managed to get here legally,” Nathan Morales, a naturalized Guatemalan immigrant who lives in LA, told the Globe Thursday. “I came up here from Guatemala in 2014. A lot of people from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have been fleeing for years because of gang violence and the lack of opportunities there, and I was among them. I applied for citizenship and coming here legally, but I was put in the broader lottery for it, so my hopes were not high. So, I took a train up North, known as the Beast, and managed to make it to the border. Most went to Texas, but I went to Tijuana since I had family in Los Angeles.”

“Between having family there and getting one of those lucky spots, I was granted permission, worked hard, and went through all the hoops to become a citizen. For the test, I even memorized the U.S. Constitution, I was so worried. And a lot of migrants who got here legally, we feel for everyone wanting to escape everything that has been happening. Gang members waiting for them if they go back, it’s horrible. But they aren’t doing it the right way. And if we limit ICE, it will be harder to get real gang members who traveled North out. I’ve seen members of gangs I remember because of it being tattooed on their face, and they’re walking around LA. Now isn’t the time to limit ICE. We need to be accepting of those in need, but we also need to stop people who can bring trouble from staying here. We’re leaving our home countries to get away from that and live a safe life here.”

Another migrant, who wished to remain nameless said they currently have a green card, and added, “Those people for LA becoming a sanctuary city are not answering our concerns about crime. ICE has problems and I personally think that we shouldn’t kick people out of the country if they have been here for over a decade and are paying taxes. But these gang members coming up need to be stopped. A lot of us remember what they did there. We came here for safety, not for it to happen again. Let ICE do their job and instead work with the federal government to get people who have proved themselves to be good potential citizens to get naturalized. Declaring the city a Sanctuary City is the last thing we need, as it hurts everyone in the long run.”

The decision over LA becoming a sanctuary city is to be decided by the City Council in the near future.

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Evan Symon
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2 thoughts on “Immigrant Groups Oppose LA City Council’s Sanctuary City Proposal

  1. It’s ironic that Democrat policies have turned the once great city of LA into a crime filled hellhole similar to what many migrants were seeking to escape from in their home countries? Maybe it’s intentional? The Democrat cabal that controls LA does the bidding of their WEF globalist masters?

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