Eight local mayors oppose making CA a “Sanctuary State”
Protesters and elected officials came face to face in a heated debate today, over immigration. Eight San Diego County Mayors say they oppose a bill that would make all of California a so-called “Sanctuary State.”
If that happens, illegal immigrants would be essentially untouchable – but it could also mean a loss of hundreds of millions of federal dollars for state and local government and those local mayors who oppose Senate Bill 54 say that would impact public safety.
“Our stance is not anti-immigrant, our stance is anti-criminal,” Mayor Bill Wells said, of El Cajon.
“There are a lot of bad ideas coming out of Sacramento, this one takes the cake,” Mayor Steve Vaus said, of Poway.
The proposed bill would, among other things, prevent state and local law enforcement from notifying federal authorities when an illegal immigrant convict is released from prison.
“We have 13,000 undocumented immigrants on parole, when they get out and are not able to access all the tools to keep them out of our communities, they’re going to go back to crime,” Mayor Wells said.
“Our primary job is to keep communities safe. So how could you support something that increases the likelihood that criminals will be among us,” Mayor Vaus added.
The mayors of El Cajon, Coronado, Escondido, La Mesa, Poway, San Marcos, Santee and Vista say that should be a local decision and promise they will sue the state if this bill passes.
“I see a sign in the audience: Immigrants Welcome. Immigrants are welcome. San Diego County has been very welcoming,” Santee City Council Member Brian Jones said.
The Mayor of Escondido is a proud immigrant himself but still is opposed to this measure.
“Crime has decreased 22 percent and that’s because we deported 2,000 illegals and will continue to do that,” Mayor Sam Abed said, of Escondido.
Protestors at this event told CW6 they were horrified by what they heard, calling it un-American and they weren’t shy about making themselves heard.
“Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!” they yelled.
“ICE has crossed the line on several instances, like grandmothers being deported,” Jeffrey Tuttle said, who supports SB-54.
“You’re breaking families apart! You should be ashamed. We’ll vote you all out. I live in your city Mr. Wells, we will vote you out! Vote you out!”
The “Sanctuary State” bill could be voted on in the senate, as early as Friday.