A proposed resolution for the city of Fresno to oppose “sanctuary state” legislation in Sacramento was yanked from consideration by the Fresno City Council almost before Thursday’s council meeting got underway.
Councilman Steve Brandau was offering the resolution to oppose Senate Bill 54, the “California Values Act,” which would bar local law enforcement from detaining or arresting people for immigration violations.
But at the start of the council meeting, Councilman Luis Chavez asked that the issue be removed from the agenda. Brandau and Councilman Garry Bredefeld unsuccessfully sought to keep the proposal on the docket, but were outvoted by Chavez, Esmeralda Soria and Oliver Baines. Councilmen Paul Caprioglio and Clint Olivier abstained from the vote.
The 3-2 vote drew scattered applause from the crowd in the council chamber at City Hall.
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Brandau said that SB 54 would effectively designate California as a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants and endanger billions of dollars in federal money to the state and its local governments, including about $127 million in annual federal funds to Fresno. The law would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from investigating or asking people about their immigration status or detaining people at the request of federal immigration authorities. It would also require public schools, public health facilities and courts to adopt policies limiting their cooperation with immigration enforcement.
This resolution is all about money. It’s not about trying to solve all of the issues we face with immigration.
Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau
Brandau’s fears about SB 54 are stoked by President Donald Trump’s pledges to deprive self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities” of federal money.
If the state Legislature passes SB 54, “the state jeopardizes state and local authorities’ receipt of federal funds,” Brandau’s proposed resolution declared. “The loss of federal funding would be a disaster for the city, and would impair funding for important functions and projects such as roads, public transportation, public safety and housing.”
“This resolution is all about money,” Brandau said Wednesday. “It’s not about trying to solve all of the issues we face with immigration. It’s not about asking for more power or less power. It’s really focusing on the money we get from the federal government.”
SB 54, authored by state Senate president pro tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, was introduced in December and has been approved by the Senate Public Safety and Appropriations committees. If approved in the Senate, the bill would then make its way into the state Assembly for consideration.