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Sebastopol City Council Votes to Continue Immigration Policy

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Sebastopol City Council Votes to Continue Immigration Policy

At its regularly scheduled meeting (Tuesday, February 21, 20017), the Sebastopol City Council voted to reaffirm its support of current Police Department policy not to engage in federal immigration enforcement.

In addition, the City Council voted in favor of supporting SB 54, the California Values Act, a bill pending before the California State Senate. The bill “protects the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or divide Californians on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, or national or ethnic origins,” said Mayor Una Glass in a letter to Senate President Pro-tem Kevin de León.

With tonight’s vote, the City Council in effect commits Sebastopol to the principles of the “Indivisible City” movement, which aims to protect undocumented but otherwise law-abiding citizens from federal immigration enforcement.

Under the Sebastopol Police Department’s policy, city residents will not be subject to law enforcement action based solely on immigration status, nor will local police resources be used to support federal enforcement of current immigration laws or executive orders.

“Sebastopol prides itself on being welcoming to people from all backgrounds, cultures, religions, orientations, abilities, and viewpoints, and encouraging their active participation in matters that affect us all.” said Mayor Una Glass. “We don’t want to create an environment where a person is reluctant to contact law enforcement for help. We are actually making our community safer by focusing our city’s limited resources on the enforcement of state and local laws and continuing to build collaboration between local leaders, law enforcement, and our community members.”

Jeffrey Weaver, Chief of the Sebastopol Police Department, echoes that sentiment. “It is the longstanding policy of this department to foster a collaborative relationship with the city of Sebastopol’s residents including all members of its diverse communities, regardless of immigration status. We believe that fostering trust and respect among all our residents keeps all of us safer,” said Chief Weaver.

The Council affirmed its support of “indivisible city” principles in a formal resolution, the full text of which is available on the city’s website at cityofsebastopol.org