Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedilla. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedilla. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council continued to prepare Friday for a likely battle with President Donald Trump over his aggressive executive orders on immigration.

The council voted to direct the city attorney to report on how it can protect immigrants from expanded federal efforts at deportation, while Councilman Gil Cedillo introduced a motion supporting state Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act, which would ensure that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations.

Trump recently issued a number of executive orders that would add thousands of Border Patrol Agents and immigration officers, build a wall on the Mexican border and cut funding for so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Trump has threatened to deport up to 3 million immigrants who are in the country illegally, and an estimated 850,000 of Los Angeles’ 3.8 million residents are not currently citizens.

The motion asking for the city attorney report also directs the city administrative officer and the chief legislative analyst to prepare a report on the potential economic impacts of deportations on the city’s economy, and recommendations for protecting city programs from “the negative impacts of federal actions that target immigrants.”

The motion, which was approved 10-0, was forwarded to the full council by its Ad Hoc Committee on Immigration, attended by a packed house of more than 350 people during its inaugural meeting on Wednesday.

The idea for the committee was hatched by the council in the days after Trump’s election win in November and is one of a number of moves it has made in opposing the president’s immigration policies.

The immigration committee passed a motion voicing support for Special Order 40, which outlines the Los Angeles Police Department’s decades-old policy of officers not instigating police activity for the sole purpose of determining an individual’s immigration status.

The council and Mayor Eric Garcetti have also committed $2 million to a $10 million legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation.

“With the County of Los Angeles home to 1 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and the majority of those immigrants intertwined in all levels of life here in Los Angeles — including social, civic and economic — the deportation of any sizable percentage of that community would have a devastating impact on those immigrants, their children, as well as potentially, the city’s economy,” the motion states.

— City News Service

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