L.A. To Formalize "Sanctuary" Label

The Los Angeles City Council will consider a motion to adopt the label, "City of Sanctuary," in order to reassure those living in the United States illegally that the city will do what it can to protect them from immigration enforcement.

"Sometimes symbolism is important," Council president Herb Wesson told reporters at a City Hall news conference Friday.

The label, which is a variation on the term, "sanctuary city," has no legal weight, Wesson said, so adopting it would not further jeopardize L.A.'s access to federal funding.

"There is nothing that would put the City of L.A. at risk by saying we are a city of sanctuary," Wesson said.

Councilman and co-author Gil Cedillo said the motion was emblematic of the city's longstanding policies to limit police cooperation with federal immigration agents, and said he felt it was more important to emphasize now, with the Trump Administration's announcement it would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, that's shielded more than 200,000 California residents from possible deportation.

"We wanted to make clear that as we go through this period, immigrants in our city felt comfortable and confident that we are going to continue to protect their rights," Cedillo said.

The Council could vote next week.

(Pictured: City council president Herb Wesson and Councilman Gil Cedillo talk with reporters at Los Angeles City Hall Friday. Photos by Eric Leonard)

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