Petaluma City Council to vote on ‘sanctuary’ resolution

The night after Petaluma’s Feb. 6 City Council meeting was a restless one for council member Dave King after having listened to community members beseech the council to adopt an “It Won’t Happen Here” declaration safeguarding the equal rights of all people.

In response to the public outcry that night, that included a petition signed by 875 community members, Mayor Dave Glass named King, Teresa Barrett and Kathy Miller to draft a formal resolution.

King finished the resolution’s first draft the next morning, and with input from Barret and Miller it was sent off to the city. Tonight, the council is expected to pass the resolution that, among other provisions, states the city “will refuse to cooperate with any demands from the federal government to institute detentions, deportations, registries…imprisonment…based on immigration status, race” or other protections under state and federal laws.

In addition, the proposed resolution states Petaluma law enforcement will not detain an individual elgible for release from custody on the basis of an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold, unless the person has been convicted of crimes specified in the 2014 California Trust Act.

The resolution is similar to others passed by cities across the nation in reaction to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration and divisive statements about undocumented immigrants.

Similar votes have been taken by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and the city councils of Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Sebastopol. A resolution is forthcoming in Sonoma, and a bill has been put forward in the state Senate to declare California a “sanctuary state.”

“What bothers me the most about what’s happening is what the impact is on families,” King said. “It impacts a lot of people, but when it starts impacting children and young adults, it crosses a line of fairness and what I think our country should really stand for.”

Initially, Glass was hesitant about the city…

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