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Santa Ana Declares Itself The First 'Sanctuary City' In Orange County
With the inauguration of Time's newly-named Person of the Year (oh God) just over a month away, one city in Orange County is affirming their commitment to protecting all citizens in Donald Trump's America.On Tuesday night, the Santa Ana City Council passed a resolution declaring themselves the first sanctuary city in Orange County. While largely a symbolic gesture (the term "sanctuary city" has no set legal definition), the resolution does set to establish an oversight task force to implement possible changes. The Orange County Register says the city council will put it a vote to possibly become an ordinance at the December 20 meeting.
The resolution passed 5-0 with one councilmember and the mayor both absent.
The resolution declares that "Santa Ana is a sanctuary for all its residents, regardless of their immigration status," and reaffirms their "commitment to preventing biased-based policing," protecting sensitive and personal information of residents, and restricting the use of city resources towards the enforcement of federal immigration law unless they are obligated to do so.
A trickier issue that the city council also considered last night was the contract the Santa Ana Jail had with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "We believe a sanctuary city with an immigration detention facility is contradictory," said Christina M. Fialho, executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, according to the L.A. Times. "The city will only truly be a sanctuary city when it ends its contract with ICE."
The city council voted to scale back the jail's capacity of immigration detainees from about 200 to 128. Back in May, the council voted to eventually phase out the contract with ICE, which ends in 2020, according to O.C. Weekly.
During the campaign, President-elect Trump vowed to cut off federal funding to cities that declared themselves sanctuary cities. Whether or not he will come through on that promise remains to be seen, especially since he has wavered on so many of the promises he has made before. And this man still isn't president!
Santa Ana is the second most-populous city in Orange County (behind Anaheim) and over 78% Hispanic or Latino, according to the last U.S. Census. On Election Day, Orange County voted for a Democrat for the first time since 1936.