Members of the audience attending the Dec. 18, 2017 Pomona City Council meeting break out in applause after the City Council approved an ordinance ensure the implementation of SB 54, the so called “sanctuary state” legislation, in the city. Photo by Monica Rodriguez/ Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.POMONA >> Hundreds passed on a chance to address the Pomona City Council Monday night and simply asked that their names be read into the record as being in support of an ordinance guaranteeing the city will comply with state legislation some have called the “sanctuary state” law.
Pomona City Clerk Eva Buice read the names — more than 300 of them — into the record before some 40 speakers, about 30 calling for approval of the ordinance and another 10 opposing it, spoke before the city council.
After listening to all comments, city council members gave unanimous final approval to the ordinance. The council had given it preliminary approval Dec. 11.
“People are living in fear. They are scared,” said Councilwoman Ginna Escobar, referring to residents of the city who are in the country without the necessary immigration documents.
Some people have tried to obtain the required paperwork, Escobar said, but it is one that is difficult to complete.
Addressing the fears of Pomona residents who are in the country illegally or who have family and friends without the necessary documents is of such concern to Pomonans that the issue has brought people together.
“More than ever, we are united with love and compassion,” she said.
Mayor Tim Sandoval said people don’t leave their countries because they have a desire to move out. They leave because they are facing situations that make it difficult for them to stay.
“They seek a better future,” Sandoval said.
Monday’s meeting was contentious even before it started. At times, opponents to the ordinance shouted “USA, USA, USA” while supporters sat in their seats and sang “De Colores,” a song that became an informal anthem of the United Farm Workers in the 1960s.
The singing prompted at least one of the outnumbered opponents to call out, “In English! This is America! This isn’t Mexico!” The audience members maintained their composure and continued to sing.
Later, an ordinance opponent and an audience member engaged in a shouting match.
This fall, immigrant-rights groups called on the city council to adopt an ordinance that would place city policies in line with the requirements set by Senate Bill 54, formally known as the California Values Act.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 54 into law in October with the legislation set to go into effect Jan. 1. Generally, the state law will prohibit California and local law enforcement from using their resources to carry out federal immigration-enforcement activities.This would include investigating, interrogating, detaining or arresting people.
“SB 54 correctly identifies that the enforcement of federal civil immigration law falls exclusively within the jurisdiction of the federal government,” according to a city staff report. “As such, no city department has any inherent authority or duty to investigate or assist in (the) enforcement of such federal law. Entangling state and local agencies with federal immigration enforcement programs diverts already limited resources and blurs the lines of accountability between local, state and federal governments.”
Pomona’s ordinance ensures the “city policy remains in conformity with state law on the issue, in particular, the requirement now under SB 54 that cities do not engage in immigration enforcement purposes except under specific circumstances” such as cases in which a judicial warrant was issued, the staff report reads.
Under the ordinance, the city “affirms” that requirements set by the state involving confidentiality of personal information, as is already done by the city, will be extended to include immigration enforcement actions, according to the staff report.
The city will also be prohibited from entering into agreements unless they are in compliance with SB 54, the staff report reads.
SB 54 will require police departments to submit a yearly report to the California Department of Justice with details of their involvement in any joint law enforcement task force. Under the city’s ordinance, Pomona’s city manager must provide the same information to the City Council when it’s submitted to the state, the staff report reads.
Pomona’s ordinance ensures that “neither the city nor any official, employee, agent or contractor of the city will be able to amend this stated city policy to make such policies out of compliance with this ordinance or SB 54,” according to the staff report.
In addition, Pomona’s city manager will be responsible for developing and implementing training materials for city personnel as they pertain to the requirements of SB 54, the city staff report reads. The city manager also will present a report to the council at least once a year on the status of training and compliance with the state legislation.
Before the council voted on the matter, one of the speakers referred to the undocumented as “criminals, rapists, they are law breakers,” to the displeasure of most of the audience.
Speaker Maria Valencia later said, “I’m a very hard worker. I’m not a criminal” and, she added, she’s a native of Mexico.
Robin Hvidston, of the Claremont-based We The People Rising, was among the 10 speakers who opposed the ordinance.
“We should have our local government support our federal laws,” she said. “The council should be helping the homeless, homeless Americans.”
Approving the ordinance will only send a message that will attract those participating in human trafficking and drug trafficking activities, she said.
Mayor Tim Sandoval said the ordinance wouldn’t have been established without the involvement of several groups including the ICE Out of Pomona Coalition and the Latino/Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.
Council members listened to the public, including parents, children and local ministers. Sandoval said.
Adopting the ordinance sends a clear message, he said.
“This is your city, your community,” Sandoval said. “We don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome here.”
Pomona gives first approval to ‘sanctuary state’ compliance measure
PUBLISHED: December 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm | UPDATED: December 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm
POMONA >> City leaders gave preliminary approval Monday night to a proposed Pomona ordinance meant to ensure the city will implement requirements spelled out in the state’s new so-called “sanctuary state” law.
Immigrant-rights groups urged the City Council to adopt an ordinance to keep Pomona in conformance with SB 54, known as the California Values Act.
Pomona City Council members voted unanimously for the proposed ordinance, which will come back to the council Dec. 18 for a final vote.
The ordinance was crafted with the involvement of representatives of various immigrant-rights groups, the city’s police chief and deputy chief, and members of the city attorney’s office, said Councilwoman Cristina Carrizosa.
“It’s was a very collaborative process,” Mayor Tim Sandoval said. “Out of this came the document you see … I think everyone is proud of the final document.”
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act into law in October. The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.
Generally, the law will prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources for immigration-enforcement purposes including investigating, interrogating, detaining or arresting people.
Pomona’s proposed ordinance will ensure “city policy remains in conformity with state law on the issue, in particular, the requirement now under SB 54 that cities do not engage in immigration enforcement purposes except under specific circumstances,” according to a city staff report. That would include cases in which a judicial warrant was issued.
Among the things the proposed ordinance would do is prohibit the city from entering into agreements unless they are in compliance with SB 54, the staff report reads.
State legislation will require police departments to provide an annual report to the California Department of Justice with details of participation in any joint law enforcement task force. The proposed ordinance will require the Pomona city manager to provide the same information to the City Council at the same time it is submitted to the state Department of Justice, the staff report reads.
Pomona’s proposed ordinance will ensure that “neither the city nor any official, employee, agent or contractor of the city will be able to amend this stated city policy to make such policies out of compliance with this ordinance or SB 54,” according to the staff report.
The proposed ordinance makes it clear that the Pomona city manager is responsible for development and implementation of the training materials for city personnel as it pertains to the scope and requirements of SB 54, the city staff report reads.
The city manager also will present to the City Council a report on the status of training and compliance with SB 54. The report will be provided at least once a year to the City Council or when requested by the council.
Sandoval reiterated that the City Council is “in full support of all our residents in the city,” he said. “We are going to do everything that we can to protect you.”
Prior to the council’s vote, Jose Calderon, president of the Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley, told the council that over the years the city and a coalition of local organizations have worked together to address issues of concern to the city’s immigrant population. Issues have ranged from addressing the needs of day laborers seeking work to support for state legislation that has resulted in driver’s licenses being issued to those living in the state without the proper immigration documents.
“This is very important to our community which includes immigrants and the families of immigrants,” Calderon said.
Tuesday, Calderon said he was happy with council’s action and is demonstrating it is “taking the lead and figuring out how to ensure the voice and protection of those in a section of the community not always heard.”
But not everyone agrees with the direction the City Council is taking. Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation of American Immigration Reform, said Tuesday actions such as those taken by the Pomona City Council are those of local leaders who are upset with the federal government taking steps to enforce immigration regulations.
“Ultimately, it is SB 54 that’s in violation of federal law,” Mehlman said.
In 1996, Congress adopted legislation outlawing sanctuary cities yet the federal government has not challenged California’s legislation or that of cities, he said.
The actions California, Pomona and other communities are sending to those in the country illegally including those who are undocumented and have committed a serious crime is “we will do whatever it takes to protect and coddle you,” Mehlman said.
Calderon said the nation is living through a period in which policies that have allowed people to live in the country legally are being overturned, instilling fear in them and their loved ones in addition to leaving them facing an uncertain future.
The Pomona City Council’s actions provide some help to people in such a situation, Calderon said.
“It’s really a courageous act,” he said.
Your invitation and reminder:
You are invited to the “No Muslim Ban and No Wall,” rally in Memorial Park (840 N. Indian Hill Blvd.) in Claremont beginning at 2 PM on Sunday, February 26!
This rally will bring diverse communities together to stand in solidarity in rejecting President Trumps Executive Orders, regarding the Muslim ban and wall by peacefully rallying justice for ALL people, regardless of ones race, religion or background.
Guest Speakers include, but not limited to:
-National Anthem sung by, Thuy-Vi Nguyen.
-Mayor of Claremont, Sam Pedroza.
-Mayor Pro Tem of Claremont: Larry Schroeder.
-Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes.
-Representative from Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor, Hilda Solis’s office.
-Representative from Congresswoman, Norma Torres office.
– NAACP President of Pomona Valley, Jeanette Ellis-Roysten.
– Prof. at California State University of San Bernardino, Dany Doueiri.
-Emeritus Professor in Sociology and Chicano and Latino Studies, Jose Calderon.
-President of the Board of National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, Hazen Foundation in NY and serves on the Board of the National Council of La Raza, Angela Sanbrano.
– Secretary of Corona/Norco Mosque and Progressive Activst, Fauzia Rizvi.
-Vice President of Islamic Center of Clarmeont, Mahmoud Tarifi and Chino Hills Mosque/Representative for the Shura Council which represents all Southern California Mosque, Ahmed Suboh.
– President of Cal Poly Pomona’s Muslim Student Association, Nishat Anzum.
– Poetry Reading by Madeline Rios.
-Latin music Rosa Martha Zarate Macias.
This event is sponsored by Indivisible Claremont , For The People PAC & Inland Empire Resistance
The vote by the Claremont City Council in “Safeguarding the Civil Rights, Safety, and Dignity of all People” was a big victory for our targeted communities – for our immigrant communities – and adds to the large number of cities, colleges, schools, churches, unions, and neighborhoods that are responding to the tension and climate of fear created by the election of Donald Trump. It is a response to blatant words and actions of racism, sexism, homophobia and attacks against our immigrant families, our DACA students, our Muslims, our women, our physically and mentally challenged brothers and sisters. We applaud the commitment and tenacity of hundreds of students and community people who sat through seven hours of passionate testimony in defense of our targeted communities. As many agreed in their presentations, this is only a beginning and has to be followed up with voting, accountability, and further preparation for what is to come. Trump has promised to reinstate the Secure Communities program nationally which, prior to its termination, operated in California as an indiscriminate mass deportation program at great cost to California both financially and otherwise. According to a report prepared by Justice Strategies in 2012, under S-Comm, California taxpayers spent an estimated $65 million annually to detain people for ICE. Continuing to tangle state and local public safety resources with the dirty business of deportations threatens the civil rights and safety of all who reside in California. Such actions foster racial profiling, police mistreatment, and wrongful arrests, which further undermine trust between local communities and law enforcement. That is why it was particularly significant that the resolution declared Claremont as a “safe place” for all people (against acts of bullying, hate, and violence – supporting colleges who have designated their campuses as sanctuaries and who are calling for the continuation of DACA) – and most importantly committing to not enforcing federal immigration law, not conducting immigration enforcement raids, and not question, detain, or arrest individuals solely on the basis of their being undocumented. As part of these continuing efforts, the Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley will continues to support other similar organizing efforts throughout the state and nation – and urges support for SB 54 (de León), which protects the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or divide Californians on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, or national or ethnic origins.
Jose Zapata Calderon Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies 1050 North Mills Avenue Claremont, CA 91711-6101 (909) 952-1640 Jose_Calderon@pitzer.edu Website: www.josezcalderon.com
We just received word that the vote on DAPA by the Supreme Court was a 4 – 4 deadlock. Join us for a press conference on Friday at 11 A. M. at Pomona City Hall.
Contact: Jose Calderon (909) 952-1640
Madeline Rios (909) 263-4579
Angela Sanbrano (323) 371-7305
Who: Latino/a Roundtable and partners
What: The Latino and Latina Roundtable will be holding a press conference
When: Friday, June 24th 11:00 a.m.
Where: at Pomona City Hall 505 S. Garey Avenue Pomona, CA
Why: Latino/a Roundtable response to the Supreme Court makes a decision on the Executive Order on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Expanded DACA). The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 4 to 4 on US v. Texas. In other words, the ruling means that DAPA and DACA Expansion programs will not be moving forward until we go back to the beginning and start all over again to get back to the Supreme Court. With sadness but resolve we have learned that the Supreme Court rejected President Obama’s executive order for Deferred Action for Parents and Lawfully Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the Expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Expanded DACA). Claudia Bedolla from the Latino and Latina Roundtable stated, “DAPA didn’t happen and with that the opportunity for our families to have a better life has again been DENIED”. As you know, DAPA/Expanded DACA could benefit up to five million undocumented immigrants who, if it passes, will be eligible for deportation protection and a three-year work permit. This includes immigrant parents who have lived in the U. S. for at least five years, since before January 1, 2010 and have children who either were born in the U. S. or are legal permanent residents. The program would of also allow immigrants who arrived as children before Jan. 1, 2010 to become eligible — expanding the program beyond the original June 15, 2007 cutoff date.
This should be the new campaign in cities and school boards, particularly in cities where undocumented immigrants comprise a substantial part of the population. They pay taxes and contribute immensely to local economies. This is taxation without representation — and they should have the right to vote.
As this op-ed relates, a number of jurisdictions have taken the lead and made it a reality.
“There are now a handful of U.S. jurisdictions where noncitizens have a right to vote in some elections. In six towns in Maryland since the 1990s, all residents (except felons serving sentences or those judged mentally incompetent by a court) can vote in local elections. Chicago permits all noncitizen parents of schoolchildren to vote in school district elections. In California, all parents can participate in “parent trigger” votes to change the administration of their children’s schools.
Next year, the New York City Council will take up a bill — which has broad political support — that would allow noncitizens lawfully residing in the U.S. to vote in local elections. In March, Burlington, Vt., voters will decide on a similar ballot proposition to let legal permanent residents vote in local elections. The District of Columbia has a similar bill pending.”
Dear Professor Calderón,
On Wednesday, October 15, at 7:00 pm, the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center is collaborating with Deacon Mario López and the Department of Motor Vehicles to put on a forum on AB 60 for Spanish-speaking parishioners and community members. Continue reading
Good article by David Bacon (Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating) who always comes through with deep analysis. Here, with David Bacon and Dolores Huerta at Agbayani Commemoration in Delano. Continue reading