Rally speakers promote sanctuary city concept

KL photo2

Ali Knight, a member of the Mechoopda tribe indigenous to the Chico area, spoke in favor of sanctuary status at a Saturday rally at Downtown Plaza in Chico. “This is Mechoopda land,” Knight reminded about 100 people who gathered to support a sanctuary designation for Chico. “Most of the native population here was decimated. The idea that people don’t belong to a place started a long time ago.

“We are still here and want to promote this as a sanctuary city,” Knight said.

The rally and march Saturday were organized by Shelby Chase, a member of the board of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to the Feb. 21 City Council vote against considering sanctuary status for Chico. A sanctuary designation could be either symbolic or viewed as a policy statement related to local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities. read more

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Sanctuary proponents regroup after failed effort at City Council Community members regret lack of discussion

by Leslie Layton

In part, it was the 4-3 vote against merely considering their request that surprised and frustrated college students, and that moved some of them to booing before they left the Council Chamber.

In part, it was the way the vote was taken – swiftly and without explanation – that stunned or offended some community members. On Tuesday, an audience that filled the chamber asked the Chico City Council to consider at an upcoming meeting a sanctuary policy that would help protect the local immigrant community and its relationship with police. read more

Not on our agenda! Chico City Council won't agendize a discussion on sanctuary status

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by Leslie Layton

The Chico City Council’s conservative majority blocked a community-wide effort, led by a group of college students who made brave and articulate presentations Tuesday night, to agendize a discussion on sanctuary status.

Sanctuary is a designation that could be as simple as an official statement welcoming diversity, or as meaty as a statement that guides law-enforcement policy toward the local immigrant community.

The panel quickly voted 4-3 against a motion by Councilwoman Ann Schwab to discuss sanctuary status for Chico at an upcoming meeting, after 37 people – including college students, attorneys, teachers, activists and other community members – asked for a hearing on the matter. read more

Chico residents to ask City Council for sanctuary designation On Tuesday, from the floor, a resolution proposal

women's march on chico

photo by Karen Laslo

 
Participant in January’s Women’s March on Chico

by Leslie Layton

A group of Chico residents plan to address the City Council Tuesday to request a “sanctuary” designation for the city – a statement that is important and controversial in an era of harsh immigration enforcement.

Elizabeth Alaniz, assistant director of Chico State’s Financial Aid and Scholarship office, said students from several campus groups plan to address the City Council on the issue at the panel’s Feb. 21 meeting. And Chico author and Zen Buddhist Lin Jensen said he has composed a draft resolution for a sanctuary designation after conducting extensive research on the matter. read more

Sweeping dragnet a cornerstone of new immigration policy Mobilizations in defense of immigrants help, attorney says

Chico women's march participant photo by Leslie Layton
Chico women’s march participant

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

President Donald Trump is quickly re-shaping immigration policy with an emphasis on harsh enforcement, in part by issuing executive orders that cast a much wider deportation net.

In a telephone briefing Wednesday with members of the ethnic press nationwide, immigration attorneys discussed two orders signed Jan. 25 – two days prior to the Jan. 27 order that came to be known as the Muslim ban. The earlier pair of executive orders received scant media coverage until recently, when stories began appearing about the deportations of long-term U.S. residents who have no criminal record. read more

Fear grips communities as immigrants prepare for new administration Information is empowering, rights advocates say

OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified Student Support Services Secretary Neli Peña discuss the upcoming immigration fair.
OneJustice legal fellow Maureen Slack and Orland Unified’s Neli Peña at a planning meeting for the March immigration fair.

by Leslie Layton

Scared.

That’s how attorneys and immigrant rights advocates were describing their clients in the weeks preceding the inauguration of a president whose campaign was laced with hostile anti-immigrant rhetoric.

As a candidate, Donald Trump talked about massive deportations and vowed to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has brought relief to hundreds of thousands of young adults who were raised in this country without legal status.

The best antidote for fear, say rights advocates, is preparation. In California cities, immigrants can usually find a qualified organization that offers free or low-cost services – including legal consultations and know-your-rights forums. But in rural California, those kinds of resources are often rare or nonexistent. read more