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Petition to Make Claremont a Sanctuary City

This petition had 923 supporters

Following the 2016 elections, immigrant rights in the United States are at risk as never before. Claremont has the opportunity to aid our community members and protect local families from coming deportation policies. In order to do so, we must act now by making Claremont a sanctuary city.

Sanctuary policies protect immigrant rights and build community-police relations by directing city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of undocumented immigrants. Sanctuary cities leave immigration enforcement to the federal government, so that their own police force can concentrate on fighting crime.

With over 200 cities nationwide and 15 cities in Los Angeles County alone, there is ample precedent for this legislation. Many big cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, have publicly reaffirmed their commitment to sanctuary policies in the days following Trump’s election. Momentum is building; now is the time to join this movement.

Claremont might model its “sanctuary city status” after San Francisco's sanctuary ordinance, which "prohibits City employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with immigration investigations or arrests unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant".

Sanctuary cities serve to improve public safety; a sanctuary city ordinance passed by San Francisco in 2013 stated that associating the police with immigration authorities “undermines community trust of law enforcement by instilling fear in immigrant communities of coming forward to report crimes and cooperate with local law enforcement”. Immigrants are also less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens; only 1.6% of immigrant men aged 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3% of men who were born here. Public safety concerns are why the ACLU has repeatedly supported sanctuary policies.

Above all else, this policy is about justice. The vast majority of Claremont’s undocumented immigrants are hardworking, productive members of our city. We should affirm that America is about the spirit of hard work in the pursuit of opportunity rather than legal status. In the face of harsh and inhumane immigration policy changes, we must stand up for our community, our safety, and the simple morality of not persecuting valuable members of our community for their lack of a certain legal designation.

A day after the presidential election, California State Senate President Tempore de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon released a joint statement affirming the legitimacy and importance of regional resistance; “By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny…California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love”. By affirming that “California will defend its people and our progress…using every tool at our disposal”, these leaders clarify the need for immediate action. 

Rather than allow ourselves to be dragged into the past, now is the time to take a firm stance in support of what is right.

We the undersigned hereby ask the Claremont City Council to pass an ordinance officially making Claremont a sanctuary city. We also ask that Claremont coordinate with local officials from our sister-cities and elected state officials to create sensible and just immigration policies. 

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