PALM SPRINGS – In October 2017, the City Council sent an undeniable message that it embraces equality and diversity and will not tolerate discrimination, but the language excluded any mention of being a sanctuary city.

The City Council aims to correct that on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Councilmembers Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege requested that consideration of a resolution proclaiming the city of Palm Springs as a sanctuary city is placed on the City Council agenda.

The purpose of this Resolution is to reaffirm the city’s policies and procedures in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Sanctuary city status provides that all persons are to be treated equally, with respect and dignity, regardless of immigration status.

This sanctuary city status is designed to promote trust between city employees and city residents ensuring community safety and security.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Resolution is to reaffirm the city’s policies and procedures in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Cathedral City was the first city in the Coachella Valley to proclaim itself a Sanctuary City. Coachella followed. Palm Springs has studied sanctuary policies since at least January 2017 but never took action.

Adoption of the Resolution would declare the city of Palm Springs a Sanctuary city for all its residents, regardless of their immigration status.

sanctuary

Lisa Middleton

“It remains important to be clear where we stand,” Middleton told Uken Report.

According to the proposed Resolution, “The city of Palm Springs has long embraced and welcomed individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds, including a large immigrant population.”

The city of Palm Springs respects, upholds, and values equal treatment for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status, the proposed Resolution states. In addition, the city of Palm Springs has long embraced and welcomed individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds, including a large immigrant population.

The Resolution is recognition that the City of Palm Springs has benefited greatly socially, culturally and economically from the numerous contributions of immigrants and their families and the city appreciates and respects their hard work, devotion to family and to our community.

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of what a sanctuary city is. The term is generally used to describe cities that pass resolutions or directives limiting the amount of local resources – like money or personnel – used to help the federal government deport immigrants who are in the country illegally.

According to the Resolution the City Council will consider, “The City of Palm Springs seeks to continue to foster trust between city officials and residents to protect limited local resources, to encourage cooperation between residents and city officials, including law enforcement officers and employees, to ensure public safety and due process for all.”

The city of Palm Springs will not use local funds and resources to enforce federal immigration laws, and has reaffirmed the Palm Springs Police Department policy on immigration violations, according to the Resolution. The Palm Springs Police Department is committed to protect individuals from persecution within the city limits based solely on immigration status.

If adopted, the City Council will be solidly on record as objecting to the enforcement of Executive Order Number 13768 on the basis of ensuring the public health, safety, and welfare of all Palm Springs residents, including undocumented immigrants.

On Jan. 25, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13768 titled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. The order stated that “sanctuary jurisdictions” including sanctuary cities that refused to comply with immigration enforcement measures would not be “eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes” by the U.S. Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security.

On Nov. 21, 2017, section 9(a) of the executive order was declared unconstitutional by Judge William Orrick III, who issued a nationwide permanent injunction against its implementation.

“As federal immigration laws become more complex, the City Council finds it necessary to clarify the communication between the City and the federal government to prevent the use of local resources for federal immigration enforcement,” according to the Resolution.