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Posted on: February 19, 2020

Santa Rosa Remains an Indivisible City

City of Santa Rosa logo on American Flag background

The City of Santa Rosa would like to remind the community of the Resolution passed by City Council on Feb. 7, 2017 declaring Santa Rosa an Indivisible City to safeguard the civil rights, safety, and dignity of all Santa Rosa residents. This resolution remains in place today, and it is important to note that the Santa Rosa Police Department does not undertake joint efforts with federal, state or local law enforcement agencies to investigate, detain, or arrest individuals solely for violation of federal immigration law.

Full text of City Council Resolution Number RES-2017-017 adopted on February 7, 2017 resolution is as follows:

WHEREAS, the City of Santa Rosa is made up of diverse individuals, both native born and immigrants, whose collective cultures, religions, backgrounds, orientations, abilities and viewpoints join to form a highly pluralistic community that prides itself on being a place that welcomes persons and families of all walks of life; and

WHEREAS, since the presidential election, there has been a sense of uncertainty and fear among many communities in Santa Rosa, across our State and across the Nation; and

WHEREAS, the City of Santa Rosa assures its vulnerable communities that the City supports them, will do all it can to maintain and improve their quality of life, and will not tolerate acts of hate, discrimination, bullying, or harassment; and

WHEREAS, the Santa Rosa City Council wishes to declare that Santa Rosa is a safe place for everyone, including, but not limited to, immigrants from all countries, people of color, people of all religions, gender identity, sexual orientation, people with disabilities and all vulnerable communities; and

WHEREAS, it is the City Council’s desire to ensure that its immigrant residents participate in civic life and daily activities without fear of being arrested or detained by, or reported to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency based solely on immigration status; and

WHEREAS, many children who are native to the United States or are undocumented immigrants have been separated from their families by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency solely due to their parents’ or their personal immigration status; and

WHEREAS, the enforcement of civil immigration laws by local police agencies raises many complex legal, logistical and resource issues for the City, including undermining the trust and cooperation with immigrant communities, increasing the risk of civil liability due to the complexity of civil immigration laws and the lack of training and expertise of local police on civil immigration enforcement and detracting from the core mission of the Santa Rosa Police Department to create safe communities; and

WHEREAS, the City Council is greatly concerned about public safety in Santa Rosa and the mission of the Santa Rosa Police Department is to protect the safety of the public against crimes committed by persons whoever they may be; and

WHEREAS, most residents in the City, including the vast majority of immigrants, are law-abiding citizens and are, when crimes occur, themselves the victims of crime, and because the City wishes to foster trust and cooperation as between the City, its police department, and its immigrant communities, and wishes to encourage immigrants to report crime and speak to the police without fear of being arrested or detained by, or reported to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency; and

WHEREAS, consistent with the law and with Council policy, the Santa Rosa Police Department already declines to enforce federal civil immigration laws, does not conduct immigration raids, and does not question, detain or arrest individuals on the basis that they might be in this country illegally in violation of Federal civil immigration laws.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ROSA AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. That the Santa Rosa City Council calls upon all City residents and all City Departments and employees to speak out against acts of bullying, discrimination and hate violence and to stand up for those who are targeted for such acts.

SECTION 2. That the Santa Rosa City Council opposes deportations based solely on immigration status which split up families, and calls upon the federal government to promptly legislate a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and to refrain from deportations of immigrants who have not been convicted of felonies endangering the community, until such time as the U.S. Congress does legislate such a pathway.

SECTION 3. That City employees, including members of the Santa Rosa Police Department, shall not enforce Federal civil immigration laws and shall not use city monies, resources or personnel to investigate, question, detect, detain or apprehend persons solely on the basis of a possible violation of immigration law.

SECTION 4. That the Santa Rosa City Council calls upon the County of Sonoma and all incorporated cities within the County of Sonoma to adopt the foregoing policies, and we welcome opportunities to partner with the Legislature, other jurisdictions, local organizations, and businesses that support and defend these populations.

SECTION 5. The City Clerk shall attest and certify to the passage and adoption of this resolution and it shall become effective immediately upon its approval.

In Council Duly Passed this 7th day of February, 2017, by Mayor Coursey, Vice Mayor Tibbetts, Council Members Combs, Olivares, Rogers, Sawyer, Schwedhelm

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