San Diego

Chula Vista Makes Resolution to Become ‘Welcoming City'

The decision was made Tuesday after a council meeting that lasted about five hours.

The second largest city in San Diego County made a resolution to declare itself as a "welcoming city."

The decision was made Tuesday after a council meeting that lasted about five hours. 

The increased immigration enforcement across the country triggered the Chula Vista City Council to discuss an 18-page report regarding the city's policies on immigration enforcement.

The report outlined seven options, including:

  • Informing the public better about existing city policies to ease concerns.
  • Opposing federal or state laws that don't align with Chula Vista's policies on immigration enforcement. 
  • Becoming part of a network of cities already in place called "welcoming cities."

Becoming a "welcoming city" means Chula Vista isn't designating itself as a sanctuary city, which could limit cooperation with federal authorities.  It's a more symbolic option that Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas supports.

But it does reaffirm support for current police policy. 

According to Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy, the Chula Vista Police Department does not enforce immigration laws.

"We do not enforce federal laws by statute. It's not our job," Kennedy said. "Furthermore the department  does not participate in operations with federal law enforcement agencies  for the sole purpose of enforcing immigration laws."

Chula Vista homeowner Antonio Castro said he's  concerned about crime and the effect on residents' wallets. 

"We're draining American resources and tax dollars," said Castro.

Salas spoke with NBC 7 in January regarding President Donald Trump's executive order regarding sanctuary cities.

In part, it reads: "The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction."

According to Salas, President Trump does not have a full understanding of how executive orders impact local communities and how they will be implemented.

"We need to remind him he's not Putin and we're not Russia," she said in a previous interview.

Under the executive order, sanctuary cities could lose federal funding.

The council will vote on the resolution on April 25 to become a "welcoming city".

During a meeting in May they'll affirm their support for SB54, the bill in the California legislature that on Monday moved the state closer to becoming a sanctuary state.

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