Companies interested in building any proposed wall between Mexico and the United States would need to disclose that information if they want to do business with the city of Los Angeles, according to a motion City Councilman Gil Cedillo released Thursday.
While the motion simply asks for transparency if a company bids on the wall, and would not outright ban it from doing business with L.A., Cedillo agreed when asked about its message: If you want to do business with the city, stay away from President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“We are creating transparency,” Cedillo said. “We want the city to know, the citizens of the city and the residents of the city to know where their resources are going. And we think that it’s imperative, it’s our duty, particularly given the folly of this proposal.”
Cedillo released the wording of the motion he plans to introduce at Friday’s City Council meeting during a new conference at L.A. City Hall, along with over a dozen supporters from some community, labor and immigrant rights organizations.
The motion does not go as far as a bill working its way through the state Legislature that would outright ban companies bidding on the wall from holding any contract with the state, or a similar one proposed by two San Francisco supervisors.
Cedillo insisted the motion would not create a “blacklist” of companies, but also said, “Just as any other business that we do, it’s important to know the values of the companies that do business with the city. Doing business with the city is a privilege, not a right.”
Cedillo said the motion was drafted in consultation with the city attorney’s office, suggesting he had been cautioned from going as far as San Francisco and the state bill in creating an outright ban.
The motion would also impose strict penalties and fines on any company that fails to disclose its involvement with the wall.
“We choose today to build bridges that unite us, build rail lines that connect us, instead of walls that divide us,” said Rusty Hicks, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
The Federation of California Builders Exchanges and the Southern California Contractors Association have both expressed opposition to the state bill that seeks to blacklist contractors which bid on the wall.
“Those individuals who abuse their elected positions to impose political judgments against businesses who are trying to lawfully operate in California will only serve to further drive companies out of the state or out of business altogether,” CALBX said in a statement in April.
One of Trump’s top issues as he ran for president was a promise to build a wall stretching over the entire U.S.-Mexico border, and to make Mexico pay for it.
Trump has yet to come forward with any plan on how to force or coerce Mexico to pay for the wall, and a recent budget deal he signed, funding the federal government through September, did not include any money for the wall.
Reuters reported in February that a U.S. Department of Homeland Security analysis concluded the wall could cost $21.6 billion and take more than three years to build.
The president has said the border wall is needed to cut down on drug trafficking and immigrants coming into the country illegally.
Trump’s immigration policies have been met with strong opposition by the L.A. City Council, which has passed and introduced numerous motions opposing his agenda.
—City News Service
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