On Feb. 7, the Long Beach City Council 7-0 voted, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and Councilman Dee Andrew did not participate, to support state bills that would essentially make California a “sanctuary state.”
District 1 Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez moved for the proposal to support the bills. Prior to the city council meeting led a rally to the chambers. Long Beach limits immigration holds in jail as a way to foster trust between police and immigrant communities.
Senate Bill 31 would prohibit state or local agencies from providing or disclosing identifiable information of a person’s beliefs, practices or affiliation to the federal government when it is sought for compiling a database on people based on religious belief, practice or affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity for law enforcement or immigration purposes.
SB 54, the California Values Act, would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest person for immigration purposes.
The state Senate and Assembly must approve the bills by at least two-thirds approval before they could be sent out to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.
Donald Trump has threatened to penalize “sanctuary cities” by stripping them of federal funding if they refuse to comply with his deportation boosting plans.
One of his executive orders, which was neutralized for a second time by a three judge panel, was to institute a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, excluding the Christian minorities.
Going against Trump carries a risk of more than $200 million in federal funding. However, taking a stance for the city is important officials said.
“As the vice chair of the State Legislative Committee, I believe it is imperative that Long Beach shows the rest of the state and the nation that we stand with our immigrant community and that we stand for religious freedom,” Gonzalez said in a released statement.
About 10 percent of the nation’s 11.1 million undocumented immigrants live in Orange or Los Angeles counties, a recent Pew Research Center analysis reported. According to the U.S. Census more than a 25 percent of the population in Long Beach is foreign-born, about 40 percent of them are Latino. The city also has the largest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia.