LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The local Republican Party Wednesday blasted a proposal by three Los Angeles City Council members to make Los Angeles a "sanctuary city," calling the effort to bar the use of municipal resources for federal immigration enforcement a threat to public safety.
"Los Angeles is already experiencing significant increases in crime and declines in our quality of life due to the failure of city leaders and an incompetent District Attorney. This misguided effort to bar the use of any city resources or information to prevent apprehension of potential criminals -- which could include drug smugglers, violent offenders, and human traffickers -- would only undermine the rule of law and threaten public safety for all Angelenos," Tim O'Reilly, chair of the Los Angeles Republican Party, said in a statement to City News Service.
Council members Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto- Martinez put forward the proposal Tuesday. It would officially bar the use of any municipal resources, property or personnel from being used for federal immigration enforcement. Tuesday's action was 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."