For Immediate Release: June 9, 2023



LOS ANGELES — Today, City Council unanimously approved a motion introduced by Councilmembers Nithya Raman, Eunisses Hernandez, and Hugo Soto-Martinez directing the City to draft an ordinance to establish the City of Los Angeles as a “Sanctuary City” and prohibit any City resources, property or personnel from being utilized for any federal immigration enforcement.

While the City Council has previously passed a symbolic resolution declaring Los Angeles a “City of Sanctuary,” it has not codified sanctuary policies into municipal law. The City’s current relationship with federal immigration agencies is shaped by an executive directive issued by former Mayor Eric Garcetti and internal LAPD policies. These policies are subject to change under future administrations and have yet to be enshrined as permanent protections for Los Angeles immigrants. 

The Councilmembers’ motion directs the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance within 60 days that would permanently enshrine sanctuary policies into municipal law and ensure that no City resources, property, or personnel are used for federal immigration enforcement. It also directs City departments to report back with recommendations to close gaps in existing policy to limit direct and indirect data sharing with federal immigration authorities and contracted private companies engaged in immigration enforcement activities. 

“I came to this country with my mother as an immigrant when I was six years old, arriving in the United States because we sought a better life, and I am so grateful for the opportunities this country has given me and my family,” said Councilmember Raman. “Immigrants make up the very fabric of this city. Prohibiting the use of City resources for federal immigration enforcement shouldn’t depend only on executive actions that could be overturned by a future Mayor or Police Chief. These are fundamental protections that should be enshrined in our laws going forward.” 

“As the daughter of immigrants, who was born and raised in a city that was built by – and continues to thrive – because of our immigrant community, I am proud to see Los Angeles take this long overdue step to codify protections for our undocumented residents,” said Councilmember Hernandez. “Our immigrant communities make up the nervous system of Los Angeles. They need more than symbolic gestures and internal policies that can change from administration to administration. They need lasting protections that are enshrined into City law. It’s time for LA to finally become a true Sanctuary City.” 

“One in ten Angelenos are undocumented, and this community needs to be able to trust the government and access critical services just like anyone else,” said Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez. “As immigrants across the country are facing increasing attacks from Republicans trying to use them as political pawns, it’s more important than ever to codify protections for our neighbors and ensure that Los Angeles is a true Sanctuary City.”

“Immigrants contribute vastly to the social and economic fabric of the City of Los Angeles and this nation,” said Alexandra Morales,  Director of Organizing, Policy and Advocacy at the Central American Resource Center – Los Angeles (CARACEN-LA). “This Sanctuary motion acknowledges that we must continue to do everything possible to defend, protect and recognize immigrant Angelenos. Today, we stand as a united front with our partners to keep ICE out of LA and further strengthen our commitment to our immigrant communities.”

The motion also directs the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department to report back with recommendations for reviewing and ensuring compliance with the ordinance, including regular reports to City Council detailing any requests received by the City from immigration authorities related to detainment, transfers, interviews, or non-publicly available information about an individual and how such requests were addressed.