Resolution Seeks to Officially Declare Los Angeles a ‘City of Sanctuary’

September 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Two City Council members introduced a resolution today seeking to brand Los Angeles a “city of sanctuary” dedicated to “protecting the human rights of all our residents.”

The move by Council President Herb Wesson and Councilman Gil Cedillo follows their receipt of a report on Thursday that civil rights attorney Peter Schey submitted to the Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity Committee, which Cedillo chairs and which Wesson is a member of. The report 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.

“It’s a declaratory statement of our values, of our vision, of our commitments,” Cedillo told City News Service.

At the committee meeting Thursday, Cedillo said he intended to submit a sanctuary city motion, but what was submitted at the City Council meeting was a resolution. A motion generally changes an existing law or creates a new one, while a resolution is generally a public declaration that does not change or create any laws. Cedillo said he submitted a resolution because declaring the city a sanctuary does not require any change in laws.

It’s not certain when the resolution would come up for a vote.

Although Los Angeles has long limited its cooperation with the feds on immigration, it has not taken on the official label of sanctuary city, and it is unclear how much support the resolution will have from Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The mayor 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 on radio station KNX Thursday. “I’m not going to buy into a frame that somebody else who’s attacking immigrants uses.”

Cedillo said he agreed with the mayor’s assessment but believed they could find common ground.

“We agree with the mayor. The mayor has been an extraordinary champion in this area, and has been absolutely responsive from the beginning, and I think we are in concert, and his points are well taken,” Cedillo said.

The Los Angeles Police Department has had a longstanding policy of not initiating contact with an individual based solely on his or her immigration status and does not give immigration agents access to its jails or inmates unless they have a federal warrant. Because of those policies, Los Angeles is often referred to as a sanctuary city, though it has never officially embraced the term as other cities have, including San Francisco and Santa Ana.

Schey, a civil rights attorney, argued in the report that Los Angeles has wide discretion in setting its own policies on immigration and that because none of its current laws are in violation of federal law, Trump’s “showboating about penalties against sanctuary cities has no basis in law and is primarily intended to dazzle his base and intimidate local officials.”

Schey also told the committee that embracing the term was an important symbolic move.

“People seem to have strong views on this name thing. My stance has always been that’s 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.

Cedillo said part of reason for introducing the resolution was in reaction to the Trump administration’s move Tuesday to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which has shielded immigrants who were brought to the country illegally when they were children from deportation.

“With the changed circumstance, with the announcement on Tuesday, it turned out that we had a scheduled immigration committee meeting, and it turned out that we had a report from our advocate, and it turned out we had a deeper understanding of what it is to be a city of sanctuary,” Cedillo said. “We are confident there will be no fiscal impact on the city, no adverse consequences on the city and we want to send that message to the (DACA recipients) who are here to continue to be engaged in the civic life of this city.”

The resolution cites the LAPD’s policy on immigrant enforcement, Trump’s DACA announcement, and the city’s history of adopting policies protecting all of its residents regardless of immigration status as some of the reasons for the resolution.

Schey’s report also recommended the city take steps to help immigrants in the country illegally and DACA recipients from being detained by federal officials by facilitating legal advice and representation for them. The report also recommended the city enact a comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance, and decriminalize minor offenses likely to be committed by low-income residents.

La Falta de Vivienda Lleva a la Ciudad a un ‘Estado de Emergencia’

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Llamándolo un “estado de emergencia” debido a la falta de vivienda desenfrenada en Los Ángeles, el alcalde Eric Garcetti y miembros del Ayuntamiento dijeron el martes que planean gastar $100 millones o más para luchar contra el problema.

Garcetti dijo que las personas sin hogar que duermen en el césped del City Hall son un símbolo “de nuestra intensa crisis en la ciudad”, y dijo que quiere que la ciudad asigne inmediatamente $13 millones en servicios y subsidios de alquiler para las personas sin hogar de la ciudad.

Varios miembros del Ayuntamiento dijeron que presentarán una moción cometiendo alrededor de $100 millones en fondos de la ciudad para hacer frente a la falta de vivienda, aunque dijeron que aún tienen que averiguar dónde se encuentra el dinero y si éste se gastará anualmente o a través del tiempo.

Garcetti, quien ha prometido liberar un “plan de batalla” en cuanto a la falta de vivienda,

dijo que quiere la ciudad gaste $100 millones por año en servicios, de acuerdo a una carta que envió lunes al Oficial Administrativo de la Ciudad, Miguel Santana.

Garcetti escribió que él ha estado trabajando la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Los Ángeles, Home for Good, la Autoridad de Servicios para Desamparados de Los Ángeles y otros para desarrollar un enfoque “separados pero coordinados” para la ciudad y el condado que se pondrá en marcha en las próximas semanas.

Mi objetivo es que estas estrategias produzcan las inversiones necesarias, incluyendo $100 millones cada año para vivienda de apoyo permanente, vivienda rápida y vivienda provisional para las personas sin hogar, escribió Garcetti.

Si bien se espera que estos esfuerzos concluyan en el invierno, “nosotros no podemos esperar hasta terminar este proceso de planificación crítico”, de acuerdo con la carta de Garcetti.

“ Tenemos que hacer todo lo que podamos ahora para quitar a la gente de las calles y en viviendas con los recursos que tenemos disponibles”, escribió el alcalde.

Dio instrucciones a Santana para planificar un potencial de $5 millones para gastar en proporcionar los subsidios de vivienda de alquiler a corto plazo que podría “rápidamente re-instalar” alrededor de 1,000 indigentes de seis a nueve meses, junto con otros $5.1 millones para hacer lo mismo con los indigentes veteranos de guerra.

También propuso gastar $665,000 para ayudar a abrir refugios de invierno un mes antes, mantenerlos abiertos un mes después y ofrecer servicios de 24/7 horas cuando este lloviendo.

Garcetti también propuso asignar $1 millón en ayuda para crear instalaciones regionales donde las personas sin hogar podrían almacenar sus pertenencias, laven su ropa, se bañen y obtengan referencias a servicios.

Otro millón se debe pagar para el trabajo de acumulación de datos para un “sistema de entrada coordinado” que ayuda a gestionar los recursos para los indigentes de manera que equipos de emergencia puedan pasar más tiempo buscando a personas sin hogar.

Agregó que estos y otros pasos iniciales podría “darnos el impulso necesario para lograr un progreso real durante el próximo año”. También dijo que necesitan prepararse para las “severas condiciones climáticas” esperadas de El Niño este año.

El presidente del consejo municipal Herb Wesson dijo que los miembros del Comité de la falta de vivienda y la pobreza, que es co-presidido por los concejales José Huizar y Marqueece Harris-Dawson, presentaron una moción pidiendo $100 millones para ser dedicados a los servicios para los programas de vivienda de apoyo y refugio para desamparados, especialmente permanentes.

Se espera que el movimiento para pedir un estudio de cómo la financiación podía ser aprovechada “para asegurar una fuente de ingresos permanente para apoyar el programa”, según la oficina de Wesson.

Santana lanzó recientemente un informe que indica que la ciudad ya gasta unos $100 millones no planeados debido a la falta de vivienda, una mayor parte de los cuales se utiliza para respuestas policiales al problema.

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