Culver City Edition Lead Story

City Council issues sanctuary declaration

CULVER CITY — The City Council has adopted a resolution declaring the city a sanctuary city for all of its residents.

The action came at the March 27 City Council meeting.

According to the resolution, “The city of Culver City is a sanctuary city for all of its residents, and the city stands in solidarity with other sanctuary jurisdictions. The city reaffirms its commitment to welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds and will uphold and protect the human and civil rights of all individuals under the state and federal Constitutions, regardless of immigration status.”

“That is part of what it means to be a city of kindness,” Mayor Jim B. Clarke said. “This is not a decision the City Council came to lightly, and it is always helpful when people in the community express their opinions on an issue. Even though Culver City has not historically participated in the enforcement of immigration laws, it is important to cement our promise to protect the public’s safety as well as the rights of all of our city residents, regardless of their immigration status.”

The adoption of the resolution is the latest in a recent string of actions by the city, the Culver City Police Department and the Culver City Unified School District to support human and civil rights.

Last year, the City Council adopted a legislative and policy platform, which “commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights.” Last October, the City Council adopted a resolution condemning violence and hate speech.

In November, the Culver City Unified School District declared that every school campus is “a safe zone.”

Culver City joins a growing number of cities declaring themselves sanctuary cities.

According to the adopted resolution, Culver City will continue to “act in a manner consistent with the American Civil Liberties Union nine model state and local law enforcement policies and rules.”

Some of the city’s current practices include not voluntarily releasing personal identifiable information to federal immigration authorities and requiring judicial warrants before detaining any individuals at the request of federal immigration authorities.

The resolution also includes language supported by the Culver City Action Network, a local advocacy group that promotes sanctuary policies.

The city and county of Los Angeles and the cities of Santa Monica, Santa Ana and West Hollywood were among three dozen jurisdictions filing a court brief March 29 in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order threatening to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.

The brief was filed in federal court in San Francisco in support of that city’s pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Trump’s proposed crackdown on cities that fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The court papers argue that pulling funding from cities would threaten public health and safety, while noting that forcing local law enforcement agencies to become arms of federal immigration agencies would lead to a loss of cooperation between immigrants and police, with victims or witness of crimes opting not to come forward out of fear of deportation.

“Today, 36 cities and counties across the nation, representing over 24 million people, joined together to stand up for the health and safety of their communities and oppose President Trump’s ill-conceived and unconstitutional executive order that would require local jurisdictions to perform federal immigration work or risk losing unrelated federal funding,” said Kelly Dermody, an attorney for the coalition of jurisdictions. “Local jurisdictions are in the best position to set these priorities and they understand that driving some residents underground in fear of any interaction with local authorities makes every resident in that community, and those adjacent, less safe.”

Trump signed an order in January threatening a crackdown on cities that fail to report arrests of people potentially subject to deportation.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,” the order states. “These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.

“We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”