Los Angeles would become a “sanctuary city” — officially barring the use of any municipal resources, property or personnel from being used for federal immigration enforcement — under legislation proposed Tuesday by three City Council members.
Council members Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martinez put forward the proposal, which is the first step toward creating an ordinance “that would permanently enshrine sanctuary policies into municipal law,” Hernandez’s office said.
“Los Angeles is a city of immigrants,” Hernandez said in a statement. “As the daughter of two Mexican immigrants myself, I know how important and overdue these protections are to our community members.
“Symbolic gestures are not enough,” she added. “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.”
The council previously passed a symbolic resolution declaring Los Angeles a “City of Sanctuary,” but the motion put forth Tuesday would codify sanctuary policies into municipal law.
Specifically, the motion would also direct the city to prohibit inquiring about or collecting information about an individual’s immigration status; engaging in investigation or enforcement related to an individual’s immigration status; providing immigration authorities access to any non-public areas, including jails, without a valid search or arrest warrant; and providing access to city databases or any individual’s personal information or other data to federal immigration authorities.
The motion, if approved by the council, would direct the city to begin preparing such an ordinance.
In a statement, Hernandez’s office said, “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.”
The measure’s other co-sponsors echoed Hernandez’s thoughts.
“Immigrants make up the very fabric of this city,” Raman said in a statement. “Prohibiting the use of city resources for federal immigration enforcement shouldn’t depend only on executive actions that could be overturned by a future mayor or police chief. These are fundamental protections that should be enshrined in our laws going forward.”
Added Soto-Martinez: “More than one out of three people who live in Los Angeles, including my own parents, are immigrants. One in 10 are undocumented. This is an important and long overdue step to codify protections for undocumented immigrants into law so we can finally make Los Angeles a true sanctuary city.”