Two Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion Friday seeking to declare Los Angeles a “city of sanctuary”.
Council Gil Cedillo said he introduced the motion following his receipt of a report on recommendations for the city to undertake in response to recent immigration policies announced by President Donald Trump.
The council meeting concluded without any further action taken.
While long limiting cooperation with federal immigration officials, Los Angeles has until now avoided the sanctuary city label, which Mayor Eric Garcetti has said 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 KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Thursday. “I’m not going to buy into a frame that somebody else who’s attacking immigrants uses.”
Among the recommendations made by civil rights attorney Peter Schey in the report sent to the Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity Committee: that the city facilitate legal advice and representation for immigrants in the country illegally to keep them from being detained by federal officials.
Schey also argued in favor of enacting comprehensive anti-immigration ordinance and decriminalizing minor offenses likely to be committed by low-income residents.
Saying 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 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 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.