The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion directing the drafting of an ordinance declaring Los Angeles a Sanctuary City, which will prohibit the use of City resources, property and personnel for federal law enforcement of migration.
“I came to this country with my mother as an immigrant when I was 6 years old, because we were looking for a better life, and I am very grateful for the opportunities this country has given me and my family,” said councilwoman Nithya Raman , who along with council members Eunisses Hernández and Hugo Soto-Martínez, are the authors of the motion that declares Los Angeles a Sanctuary City.
“Immigrants are the very fabric of this city. Prohibiting the use of city resources for federal immigration enforcement should not depend solely on executive actions that could be overturned by a future mayor or police chief. These are critical protections that should be enshrined in our laws going forward.”
Although the Los Angeles City Council has passed a resolution in the past The symbolic declaration that Los Angeles was declared a Sanctuary City did not mean that the sanctuary policies became municipal laws.
The City's current relationship with federal immigration agencies is defined by an executive directive issued by former Mayor Eric Garcetti and his internal Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) policies.
But These policies are subject to change under future administrations and have not yet been enshrined as permanent protections for Los Angeles immigrants. And it's the councilors they are trying to change.
What does the motion do?
The motion passed by councilmembers directs the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance within 60 days to permanently enshrine sanctuary policies into municipal law and ensure that municipal resources, property, and personnel are not used for the federal immigration enforcement.
It also directs city departments to provide them with recommendations for closing gaps in existing policy and limiting direct and indirect data sharing with federal immigration authorities and immigration authorities. private contracted companies involved in immigration enforcement activities.
“As the daughter of immigrants, who was born and raised in a city that was built and continues to thrive on the immigrant community, I am proud that Los Angeles has taken this long-awaited step to enact protections for our undocumented residents.” said Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez.
She noted that immigrant communities make up the nervous system of Los Angeles.
“They need more than token gestures and internal policies that can change from one administration to another. They need lasting protections that are enshrined in City law. It's time for Los Angeles to finally become a true Sanctuary City“.
The motion also directs the Department of Equity, Civil and Human Rights to provide recommendations to review and ensure compliance with the ordinance, including submitting periodic reports to the City Council, which shall detail any requests received by immigration authorities regarding detention, transfers, interviews, or non-publicly available information about an individual and how such requests are addressed.
“One in ten Angelenos are undocumented, and this community needs to trust the government and access to critical services like any other,” said Councilman Soto-Martínez.
He stated that immigrants across the country face attacks from Republicans who try to use them as political pawns.
“It is more important than ever to enact these protections for our neighbors and ensure that Los Angeles truly is a Sanctuary City.”
Alexandra Morales, director of organizing, policy and advocacy for the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) of Los Angeles, said this motion recognizes that we must continue to do everything possible to defend, protect, and recognize Angeleno immigrants.
Today, we stand as a united front with our partners to keep ICE out of Los Angeles and further strengthen our commitment to our immigrant communities.”