SANCTUARY CITY Culver City Risks Losing Federal Funds By Protecting Illegal Aliens
March 30, 2017
On Tuesday the City Council of the City of Culver City adopted a Resolution to declare Culver City a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. According to the Resolution, "The City of Culver City is a sanctuary city for all of its residents, and the City stands in solidarity with other sanctuary jurisdictions. The City reaffirms its commitment to welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds and will uphold and protect the human and civil rights of all individuals under the State and Federal Constitutions, regardless of immigration status. According to Mayor Jim Clarke, “That is part of what it means to be a City of Kindness," The vote was 3-1 with Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper in opposition. Councilman Goran Eriksson was absent. Cooper responded to the motion by saying, “I’m not interested in what other cities do or the ACLU.”Residents spoke passionately in favor and in opposition to the resolution. Supporters held signs in support of becoming a sanctuary city. Mayor Clarke had to warn the audience not to boo the speakers they didn’t agree with. Jeff Muir, Culver City’s Chief Financial Officer commented that while the city receives millions of dollars in Federal funds, most of that money is for Section 8 housing and transportation funds which are heavily subsidized by the Feds. Muir said that he believes the only funds at risk at moneys from “the Department of justice and Homeland Security which amount to about $200,000 per year.”
Culver City Police Chief Scott Bixby stressed that immigration policy was a federal responsibility and not “interested in enforcing immigration laws.”The adoption of this Resolution is the latest in a recent string of actions by the City, the Culver City Police Department, and the Culver City Unified School District to support human and civil rights, such as: 1) The City Council's 2016 Legislative and Policy Platform, which "commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights"; 2) the City's October 12, 2016 Resolution 2016 R-099 condemning violence and hate speech; 3) the Culver City Unified School District's November 22, 2016 declaration that every school campus is "a safe zone"; 4) multiple statements from Culver City Police Chief Scott Bixby expressing the Department's commitment to protecting the rights of all persons, regardless of immigration status; and 5) the City Council's February 27, 2017 Resolution 2017-R014 supporting state Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), also known as the California Values Act. "This is not a decision the City Council came to lightly, and it is always helpful when the community expresses their opinions on an issue," said Mayor Clarke. "Even though Culver City has not historically participated in the enforcement of immigration laws it is important to cement our promise to protect the public’s safety as well as the rights of all of our City residents, regardless of their immigration status." The City of Culver City joins a growing number of cities, including the City of Los Angeles, in declaring itself a sanctuary city. According to the adopted resolution, Culver City will continue to "act in a manner consistent with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 9 Model State and Local Law Enforcement Policies and Rules." Some of the City’s current practices include not voluntarily releasing personal identifiable information to Federal immigration authorities and requiring judicial warrants before detaining any individuals at the request of Federal immigration authorities. The resolution also includes language supported by the Culver City Action Network (CCAN), a local advocacy group that promotes sanctuary policies. For questions about the City of Culver City’s stance on immigration enforcement, the public can contact Community Relations Lieutenant Troy Dunlap at (310) 253-6258.