The City of Los Angeles would be barred from using city resources, property or personnel to enforce U.S. immigration policy under legislation proposed by three City Councilmembers on Tuesday.
Councilmembers Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martinez want to establish L.A. as a “Sanctuary City.”
The City Council previously passed a symbolic resolution that declared Los Angeles a “City of Sanctuary” but never wrote sanctuary policies into law.
The city’s current immigration policies are reflective of an executive directive issued by former Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Police Department’s internal policies and are subject to change, as they have not officially been codified as permanent protections for the city’s immigrants.
“Symbolic gestures are not enough, internal policies that can be changed from one day to the next are not enough; our undocumented residents deserve safety and security,” said Hernandez. “It is long past time for Los Angeles to permanently codify protections for our undocumented community members into City law.”
The council members’ motion instructs the city to prepare an ordinance that would “permanently enshrine sanctuary policies into municipal law…it would also close critical gaps in existing policy and limit direct and indirect data sharing with federal immigration authorities and contracted private companies engaged in immigration enforcement activities,” according to a statement from the city.
“More than one out of three people who live in Los Angeles, including my own parents, are immigrants, and one in ten are undocumented,” said Soto-Martinez. “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.”
The motion also directs the city to prohibit “inquiring about or collecting information about an individual’s immigration status” and “engaging in investigation or enforcement related to an individual’s immigration status”.
Visit the New York Times to view a local and nationwide map of sanctuary cities, counties and states.