Los Angeles Backs Undocumented Immigrants With Move To Decriminalize Street Vending
Amid President Trump’s recent executive order, which stipulates that cities who refuse to detain undocumented immigrants will not receive federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement—Los Angeles isn’t complying.
The city of angels is dubbed one of the countries “Sanctuary Cities,” which, according to Trump and other Republicans, permit criminals to go free. They believe that if these criminals were deported these crimes would have been avoided, according to The New York Times.
Still, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he isn’t succumbing to Trump’s latest order at the expense of the undocumented street vendor community. “I look forward to working with the White House in areas like infrastructure, where President Trump says he wants to spend a trillion dollars… But we’re also going to stand up for our families not to be divided,” Garcetti said on NPR’S Morning Edition.
He also clarified that L.A. doesn’t define itself as a sanctuary city, because not tasking the LAPD with duties of federal immigration officers benefits those who are undocumented. Yet more work needs to be done, which is why on Tuesday (Jan. 31), the City Council voted to create a law that decriminalizes street vending.
In the midst of these turbulent times for the immigrant community, Garcetti is persistent on not letting his city down. “We’re going to stand up for our economy, where 61 percent of our main-street businesses are started by immigrants and making sure that we can continue to tell the practical and the human story of why it is so important for America to remember that history,” he continued.
Trump’s opposition, however, seems to be coming at full force. During his first post election interview with Leslie Stahl, he stated that deporting two to three million illegal immigrants from the country is his top priority. Primarily focusing on those who have a criminal record of course posses a threat to many street vendors who have received tickets and fines in the past.
But the fight is just getting started. According to the Los Angeles Times, Councilman Jose Huizar said that all of their work for street vendors is “a sign to this Trump administration that we will not abide by his fear, his vilification, his scapegoating of immigrants. You do not have to work in the shadows.”