Outrage over Pres. Trump's Actions at L.A.'s First Immigration Committee Meeting | KCET
Outrage over Pres. Trump's Actions at L.A.'s First Immigration Committee Meeting
A mix of anger and bewilderment was expressed by many at the first meeting of the City Council's immigration committee Wednesday hours after President Donald Trump issued several executive orders on immigration.
"I am quite frankly stunned and overwhelmed with emotion," said Councilman David Ryu. "My heart especially breaks for the millions of people, especially the children, who are going to go to bed afraid tonight."
More than 350 people filled the council chambers for the meeting, with several dozen standing in the back. About two dozen took their turns speaking to the committee against Trump's actions.
"Our friends in immigrant detention can't be with us tonight but I'd like to think that they would ask you to respond forcefully and bravely to the xenophobic and racist executive orders that were issued today," said Jordan Cunnings, a lawyer with Public Counsel who works with immigrants in detention centers.
Trump's orders aim to add thousands of Border Patrol Agents and immigration officers, build a wall on the Mexican border, and cut funding for so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
"Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders," Trump said during a speech to employees of the Department of Homeland Security.
The executive orders added a significant layer of urgency to the work of the committee, which was created by the council in the wake of Trump's election as a way to counter the coming changes in federal policy.
"What we see today with the executive orders is an attempt to legislate and create laws based on a person's class, ethnicity or religion, and that's a dangerous path, something of which we haven't seen since World War II when we interned a number of Japanese Americans, and we are now on that path," Councilman Jose Huizar said.
"And who ever would have thought it? I honestly never thought I would see it in my lifetime."
Trump's orders could also have significant ramifications for Los Angeles, which receives roughly $500 million in federal support annually.
While not fitting the typical definition of a "sanctuary city," Los Angeles has a policy of separating the work of the Los Angeles Police Department from that of federal immigration officials, and it is not clear if that would put it in danger of losing its federal funding.
More Immigration Stories
Trump's orders declare that "sanctuary jurisdictions" would be determined by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Even as the meeting was ongoing, more news trickled in. Councilwoman Nury Martinez announced she received a news alert on her phone that said Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants in the country without legal permission as a way to pressure sanctuary cities.
"If that is not a declaration of war and intimidation, I don't know what is," Martinez said.
Representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees also addressed the committee.
LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos gave the council a report on the department's Special Order 40, a policy dating to 1979 that states officers will not detain a person for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status.
The committee approved a motion that would reaffirm the City Council's support for Special Order 40.
"The LAPD is not responsible for the enforcement of federal immigration laws that use administrative and civil remedies to detain and remove undocumented immigrants from the U.S.," Arcos said.
The committee also approved of a report on the city's $2 million contribution for the proposed Los Angeles Justice Fund to provide qualified legal representation to immigrants facing deportation.
The committee also approved a declaration of opposition to any federal policy that would reverse immigration relief created under President Barack Obama's administration and a request for a report from the city attorney on the legal efforts the city can take to protect the immigrant community from expanded deportations.
Here are five of the best ways to explore the past, present and future of Tejon Ranch.
Federal immigration authorities are expected to begin sweeps in Los Angeles and elsewhere Sunday to arrest undocumented immigrants named in court-ordered deportation warrants.
Following a screening of "Brian Banks," film subject/executive producer Brian Banks, actor Melanie Liburd and producer Amy Baer attended a Q&A hosted by Cinema Series host Pete Hammond.
Following a screening of "Framing John Delorean," producer Tamir Ardon and directors Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce attended a Q&A hosted by Cinema Series host Pete Hammond.
- 1 of 178
- next ›
For decades Los Angeles has lived in the shadows of New York and Chicago when it comes to the jazz, but that's now changing. LA's jazz scene is on the upswing. Meet the people, places and sounds that are putting LA jazz back on the map.
Chopped down trees, unspent money, building homes thirty feet from the freeway: Is the city of Los Angeles falling down on the job when it comes to certain environmental policies? Socal Connected investigates.
California's wildfires are more severe and deadlier than ever before. Debates are raging as to what to do, who will pay for billions of dollars in damage and what can be done to lessen the destruction as California adjusts to its new normal.
Influencers - they are powerful, persuasive, and they are everywhere. You may not know it, but you could be living under the influence.
How hot will your neighborhood get? "SoCal Connected" looks at the ground-level effects of climate change on southern California.
- 1 of 52
- next ›