WOODLAND (CBS13) — Undocumented immigrants in Woodland could soon be getting another layer of protection from the city.
The Woodland City Council voted Thursday night, to create a special panel that would work to draft an ordinance, making Woodland a sanctuary city.
Woodland has unofficially been a sanctuary city for about 10 years.
“We’ve already had the practice in place why not roll it into a written format like an ordinance?” said Woodland Mayor, Angel Barajas.
Barajas is part of the new sub-committee tasked with officially making Woodland a sanctuary city.
His goal is to put what the city’s been doing all along in concrete writing.
“When a police officer pulls over an individual they don’t ask them where they were born or if they have documentation to be here, if ICE was to come in and do raids and deportations, our local law enforcement won’t collaborate with them,” said Barajas.
The sub-committee, which includes city officials other than the mayor, will draft an ordinance to officially enforce what they’ve been practicing.
Barajas says at least 10 percent of the population in Woodland is undocumented.
“We wanna be able to foster a new generation of youth to be able to provide and give back to this country,” Barajas added.
“There are a lot of illegals I don’t want in this country, there are a lot of criminals I don’t want, and they are hiding behind a sanctuary city,” said Cleve Baker.
Baker opposes the idea of a sanctuary city. He says undocumented immigrants should apply for citizenship if they want to enjoy the same rights as Americans.
“It is their doing, their doing when they crossed the border illegally,” said Baker.
Brian Rowland begs to differ. He says protecting undocumented immigrants on a local level should be status quo. The city, Rowland says, shouldn’t have to resort to writing an ordinance.
“Whoever came over originally came over as illegal immigrants, it’s been built by immigrants legal and illegal,” said Rowland.
Rowland adds undocumented immigrants are a big part of what drive’s California’s economy. Without protection, he says there could be devastating economic impacts locally and statewide.
“I’d like to see them disappear for a day and see what happens,” Rowland added.
Mayor Barajas says he’ll be meeting with the sub-committee each week to draft the ordinance.
He hopes to have everything done by September.