Palm Springs takes first step to protect undocumented immigrants

Council member proposes ordinance

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A day after hundreds of people showed up for a rally outside the Palm Springs City Hall to pressure the City Council to designate the city as a sanctuary city, there is action.

"Tonight at the City Council meeting, I'm going to be asking that an ordinance that I am currently working on drafting with the city attorney, be placed on an upcoming agenda that will provide broad-based protections for people based on immigration status," council member Geoff Kors told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner on Wednesday.

Kors said he wants to amend a current law to make it illegal to ask someone their immigration status. Doing so would keep the city from having to legally adopt the term sanctuary city and hopefully avoid any federal cuts implemented by the Trump administration. That was part of the reason why Palm Springs Mayor Robert
Moon said on Tuesday he did not want the title.

"Frankly, I just don't see any reason to put this label on Palm Springs," Moon told Widner in an interview in his office. "We just need to switch see what's happening. There's np need to create waves here because we are extremely reliant on federal funding,"

Kors said his proposal would not cost the city a dime.

"What we're saying is you can't do these things here, that we won't ask this question. So- there shouldn't be any cost to the city," Kors added.

Residents in downtown Palm Springs had mixed reaction to the proposal to make Palm Springs a sanctuary city.

"The state's much better equipped to handle that certain thing, I think," said 35-year resident Forest Ryon.

"Personally, I'm not too happy about it," Palm Springs resident Betty Reistad said. "We have so many undocumented people living in the Coachella Valley."

"Everyone that gathers here feels very safe and it has an inclusive environment, so it's right along the lines of that," said part-time resident Jenna Smith.

"I think the people just have to make up our minds here. That's a local issue. Let us make up our minds," said seven-year-resident Alex Morgan.

"I think that's fine. I think that's fine. Yeah, I think more so you should have that kind of civic conscience and I think the people that gravitate to a sanctuary (are) people that need it and not terrorists," said Michael Fishman, who moved to the city in 1994.

Kors said he hoped it will be put on the agenda for the City Council meeting in March. 

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