Sacramento — The League of California Cities executive officers have issued the following statement in response to concerns over potential federal efforts to attempt to compel cities and local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.
“The possibility of new federal efforts to have California cities, and other cities across the country, enforce federal immigration laws raises numerous concerns for the League of California Cities.
The League represents 98 percent of the state's cities that provide basic municipal services (parks, water, sewer, library, fire, ambulance, and public safety and other services) to 83 percent of our state's 39 million residents. Our mission is to advocate on behalf of our member cities to preserve their local control, meaning that it is up to each city to decide how best to manage local affairs in their communities.
Based on the principle of local control, we believe cities must retain the ability to prioritize how scarce local police resources are allocated. We are also concerned that effective local policing, including ongoing efforts to strengthen police-community relations and build trust, will be undermined by the threat of federal sanctions connected to immigration enforcement.
Immigration is a responsibility of the federal government. Regrettably, Congress has been unable, over recent decades, to enact comprehensive immigration reform policies, leaving states and localities to respond to the issues — which also have many human, economic and societal impacts — on their own.
Our organization has consistently advocated, in conjunction with the National League of Cities, for Congress to enact a comprehensive approach to the immigration issue — one that not only addresses equitable enforcement, but also incorporates thoughtful and sensitive solutions to the realities associated with millions of families, students and workers living in California and throughout the country.
We urge our President and Congress to seize the moment to enact a comprehensive, balanced and bipartisan approach to immigration issues.”
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.