Robert Mueller, one of six candidates vying for a seat on the Rancho Mirage City Council in the April has been a vocal proponent of sanctuary city designation in communities where he believes it makes sense.

He has vocalized support for the designation in Indio. Coachella, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Cathedral City, he told Uken Report.

In May 2017, Mueller attended a Rancho Mirage City Council and read into the record a letter from Dr. Richard A. Loftus, a physician from Eisenhower Medical Center, encouraging the city to become a sanctuary city, according to the official city minutes. Mueller said at the time there were approximately 10 people in the audience supporting the city of Rancho Mirage becoming a sanctuary city.

His stance begs the question as to whether, if elected, he would push for Rancho Mirage to become a sanctuary city, as a place where all families can live without the fear of local law enforcement seeking their immigration or citizenship status.

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

“It is a more pressing issue in communities with larger Latino populations,” Mueller told Uken Report.

The most recent data indicates that the city of Rancho Mirage has a Hispanic population of 12. 9 percent according to the Local Profile Report 2017 compiled by the Southern California Association of Governments

“Some of the current administration’s policies unfairly victimize hard-working, tax-paying, peaceful residents in our valley communities,” Mueller said. “As a result, good folks who form the labor backbone of our agriculture, hospitality, landscape and service industries now live in daily fear.”

Mueller said he has spoken on behalf of Coachella Valley undocumented residents at many public events. As a result of efforts by many people, including myself, some valley cities with proportionally large Latino populations passed sanctuary city ordinances.

On May 24, 2017, the Cathedral City City Council voted 3-2 in favor of recognizing current city immigration policies and officially declaring Cathedral City a sanctuary city. It was the first city in the Coachella Valley to adopt the sanctuary city designation. Stan Henry and Mark Carnevale cast the opposing pair of votes.

Three months later, the Coachella City Council unanimously approved a resolution to become a sanctuary city.

Indio has been pressured to become a sanctuary city, but the City Council to date has unanimously rejected the idea.

“Fortunately, California subsequently passed SB54, thereby somewhat alleviating the perils imposed on our fellow residents,” Mueller told Uken Report. “Though some may feel neither Sanctuary City status nor SB54 are perfect solutions, SB54 may realistically be the best available option for undocumented Rancho Mirage residents at this time.”

In October 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state legislation” vastly limiting who state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.

Brown called Senate Bill 54, which took effect in January, called the legislation a balanced measure that would allow police and sheriff’s agencies to continue targeting dangerous criminals, while protecting hardworking families without legal residency in the country.

“In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do,” Brown wrote at the time. “This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way.”