LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council voted on several measures Tuesday regarding what they see as Donald Trump’s agenda against undocumented immigrants and their families.
The council approved the expansion of the L.A. Justice Fund, a collaboration between the city, L.A. County and the California Community Foundation whose purpose it is to provide legal aid “to individuals and families dealing with deportation and removal proceedings in Los Angeles County.”
The additional $10 million approved Tuesday is intended specifically for children in the L.A. area separated from their families due to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration by undocumented persons. It is estimated more than 100 children in the area have been separated from their parents, AP reported.
Also on the agenda was a request to L.A. City Attorney to file an amicus brief in the case of Ms. L.; et al., v. U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement ; et al. The motion is intended to seek an injunction against ICE to prevent the agency from separating children from their parents or families.
The council also approved a resolution in support of expediting Calif. Senator Diane Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act, which prohibits federal agents from the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services from taking children without permanent status in the U.S. from their families “at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the U.S. border,” barring cases of abuse, trafficking and trauma.
District 1 Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents the largely immigrant enclaves of Lincoln Heights, Pico Union and Highland Park, among others, introduced a resolution in support of the eliminations of ICE.
“The president’s zero-tolerance policy is repressive and inhumane. His focus should be on fixing our broken immigration system, instead of penalizing refugees seeking asylum,” Cedillo said Tuesday.
“It is un-American to shut our doors on those seeking refuge in the United States. On the eve of our Independence Day, I call for the elimination of ICE, the implementation of a humane immigration program and a stop to the separation of families as a deterrent to entry into our country.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand of New York has called for the outright dissolution of the agency, telling CNN, “You should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.”
Her call to abolish ICE came after 28-year-old newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought the issue to national prominence. The Democratic Socialist took the New York congressional seat from 10-time incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in last week’s primary.
Tuesday also saw L.A. join the cities of New York, Chicago and San Francisco in filing an amicus brief in the case of Flores v. Sessions, opposing “President Donald Trump’s efforts to […] engage in long term detention of migrant children, […] and eliminate all critical child welfare oversight currently being provided by state licensing agencies,” L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement.
Mayor Eric Garcetti voiced his support of the brief.
The Trump administration directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to modify the 20-year-old ruling in the case of Flores v. Reno, or the “Flores decision,” which prevented the government from detaining migrant minors for more than 20 days. The ruling also found detained children must be housed in licensed facilities.
If Sessions is successful, children could remain in custody with their parents indefinitely.
However, last week, a California judge ordered Customs and Border Protection to reunite children under age of 5 with their families by July 10, as well as all detained children by July 26.
The administration has not said how it plans to achieve this.
In another blow to the Trump policies, a judge on Monday ordered the administration to stop its blanket policy of denying people seeking asylum a potential release from detention, and instead evaluate each case individually.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)