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Not a sanctuary city, but Arvin plans to fight deportations

The Arvin City Council declined to declare itself a sanctuary city at meeting Tuesday night. However, the council did instruct its staff to begin drafting a resolution that would restrict Arvin police from using resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

The resolution, said the city attorney, would be based on guidelines from the California Police Chief’s Association and would carry fewer legal risks than officially labeling Arvin as a sanctuary city.

Those risks could include the withholding of federal grant money or even lawsuits under a Trump presidency.

Mayor Jose Gurrola said, given the police department’s limited staff, they already refrain from using resources for deportation purposes. Their priority, he said, is reducing crime and holding criminals accountable, regardless of their immigration status.

While the city’s proposed resolution would not create the same protections as many sanctuary cities, Gurrola said it serves as a statement that the local government will do what it can to help immigrant population.

“We just want to send a message to the incoming administration that we're not going to cooperate with breaking up families through immigration raids, and that we're going to stand up and protect the undocumented members of our community,” he said.

President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants remains unclear. In an interview with “60 Minutes” after his election, he promised to deport the 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants who “have criminal records.” On his website, he says it will be done through “joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement.” His website also states he plans to “end sanctuary cities” and “triple the number of ICE agents.”

A draft of Arvin’s resolution will be presented at their next meeting in February.

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