by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
DALY CITY, CA — Fil-Am council members of Daly City in NorCal’s Bay Area are arguing whether or not it is necessary to make the heavily Filipino municipality into a sanctuary city.
Community members packed the Daly City Council chambers Monday night to voice their support for protecting undocumented immigrants by formally declaring itself into a sanctuary city.
As a sanctuary city, Daly City would join over 400 jurisdictions across the country in standing up against what they call the “anti-immigrant rhetoric” of President Donald Trump.
But some officials say Daly City has already been acting like a sanctuary city and no formal declaration is needed.
“Some folks are living in fear thinking that they are going to be deported,” said Daly City Mayor Glenn Sylvester. “That is not the case. Here in daly city we pride ourselves — the schools, the police departments, and the medical facilities…you have sanctuary.”
Fil-Am Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo, who proposed the idea, says she is proud of the stance Daly City has done for undocumented communities.
But she says the community needs more.
“If you look at the climate we are in now, and people want to feel safe, they want to know there are safe havens. That’s the difference,” she says. “People need to see it in writing for them to feel safe.”
Councilman Mike Guingona says a formal declaration might affect the city’s federal funding.
“Ii want to be careful for a number of reasons, because we do have federal funds that are at stake here in our city, and we rely on them a little more than other cities — because we’re an entitlement city.”
The Council continues to study the impact of the potential loss of federal funding to Daly City, if it formally declares itself a “sanctuary city,” and what resources can be made available to assist undocumented immigrants.