California city makes decision on ‘sanctuary’ status

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On Monday, the city of Pittsburg, California, announced it will not opt to become a sanctuary for refugees.

Pittsburg attorney Ruthann Ziegler cited the reason behind the decision to revoke the city’s sanctuary status is the concern of the town council over losing federal funding if it does not comply with the Trump administration’s orders.

“The short-term risk of sanctuary is an immediate loss of funds,” said Ziegler. “The long-term risk is unknown.”

The Pittsburg city council held a meeting with the public to discuss the decision. In the town of 60,000, a significant number of citizens voiced concern over the decision to council officials.

Arturo Fernandez, a Mexican immigrant and U.C. Berkeley grad student, told the council: “I am here with hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are not afraid anymore.”

Another opponent of the decision told the council: “This will only encourage persons to come here illegally.”

“If somebody is a criminal, or on drugs, or whatever, then yes, take them and deport them,” said restaurant owner Johny Khalilieh, who is also a local math teacher. “We have a diverse culture here in Pittsburg. Everybody watches for each other. And I would hate to see some of my customers disappear.”

The police were present at the event, in which Police Chief Brian Addington assured citizens that the department does not typically ask for documentation from Pittsburg citizens:

“Our role is not to enforce immigration laws. We don’t intend to start enforcing immigration laws. ICE has been in our community and made an arrest just within the past two weeks, and it’s the first time that’s happened, to our knowledge, in years.”

The city of Pittsburg received $60 million in annual federal funding in the last four years. The funding goes toward housing subsidies, street repair, code enforcement, fighting crime, and maintaining a dozen non-profit agencies within the city.

H/T: Fox News KTVU

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