Chula Vista a Sanctuary City?
February 10, 2017
Although it has not been declared as such, and the project to make Chula Vista a Sanctuary City has been on hold since last December, this part of San Diego County informally already functions as such.
Mayor Mary Salas has stated that the fact that police officers avoid asking about a person’s immigration status when they report a crime or are a victim of violence has led to a 50 percent decrease in crime, making her residents feel safer and more trusting of authority.
“To date, our crime statistics remain low, and one of the reason why this is happening is that over the years our police department has built a good environment with the community, so they feel safe to report when they’re victims of a crime or witness a crime. We know that is one of the reasons why our statistics are going down: if you create a policy where people are afraid, where they feel that they could even be deported, that would hugely affect our ability to combat crime,” stated Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas.
Chula Vista is home to more than 262,000 residents, 50 percent of whom are Latino and, in many cases, are living in fear due to the new Executive Orders signed by the President and the constant threat of being permanently separated from their loved ones.
American citizens have also shown concern regarding their President’s statements, as evidenced by how many groups and organizations are joining ranks to declare Chula Vista a sanctuary city. However, the announcement that Federal funding would be withdrawn to any such city is cause for concern for local officials, as not having any support from the Federal government could hinder their ability to create more infrastructure and projects.
“I am truly worried about the president’s executive orders, and I am particularly worried about the one he launched to punish any city that would welcome immigrants or be considered a sanctuary, to me that is really unamerican,” added Salas.
The City said it felt it would be unconstitutional to label people and withdraw resources for their vulnerable populations; after hearing several groups express their desire for the city to become a sanctuary during a City Council meeting, they eagerly await the possibility of having it declared as such over the coming months.
As the process moves forward, a proposal will need to be presented to the community for their approval before it is voted on and, in the meantime, no officer will ask a person about their immigration status when they are stopped for a traffic violation or during the investigation of a crime.