LONG BEACH, CA — After 5 hours of debate and testimony, city officials and community members in Long Beach passed a city ordinance mirroring California’s sanctuary policies.
As President Donald Trump made his ways through Southern California to push for the building of a border wall, and to denounce the state’s sanctuary policies, Filipino activists enjoyed a partial victory this week in Long Beach.
After they pleaded their cases and shared their life stories, during a city council meeting, the Council approved sanctuary-type policies with the Long Beach Values Act, with a 6-to-2 vote.
“Passing the Long Beach values act we’ll be able to help the Filipino community. Help to be protected and basically our communities can be able to thrive and not be targets and criminalized because of one’s status,” said Jedi Jimenez.
The act, similar to California’s sanctuary state policies prohibits local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officers.
It also sets aside a kegal defense fund of $250,000 to aid immigrants facing deportation.
However, the ordinance does not protect all immigrants.
“There’s still more things that need to be discussed and more ways that we can improve it especially because of these carve-outs that unfairly target immigrants who’ve had convictions in the past,” said Alex Montances, from the Filipino Migrant Center. “Doesn’t even matter how long ago they were even if they changed their lives to make things better.”
The city attorney and city manager will study the act and the council is expected to meet again on it within the next 30 days.
Los Angeles has a similar measure in place, and just like Long Beach, neither city has officially declared itself a sanctuary city despite their policies.