Last week, the Sacramento City Council voted to establish a taxpayer funded network to help illegal immigrants. The council voted unanimously to allot a sum of $300,000 of taxpayer money for the establishment of this network. It is noted, that taxpayer money shall be used to create a legal network which would help in shielding illegal immigrants from deportation, under President Donald Trump.
The network shall consist of legal, educational and faith-based nonprofit groups, all to assist the illegal immigrants. Sacramento Bee has reported, the main idea behind the network would be to not only provide legal assistance to fight deportation, but also to help “protect children and assets if parents are deported.”
The funds for this network are set to be made available as soon as next month.
Councilman Eric Guerra said, “The reality is there is a lot of fear … we can alleviate that fear.”
According to Guerra, illegal immigrants are entitled to assistance from the city, because they also contribute to our local economy and often pay local taxes, such as sales and property tax.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg acknowledged how many would be disappointed by the results of the meeting, but “we are not a city that will exchange people’s civil rights for money,” he said.
He justified his decision by citing a study that indicated that illegal immigrants contribute nearly $60 million to Sacramento County governments each year.
Sacramento Bee noted, “About 49,000 Sacramento residents are not U.S. citizens, including about 4,100 children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about 10 percent of city’s residents. How many are here illegally is unknown. The census bureau does not ask about legal status. Steinberg said immigrants with violent criminal records would not be eligible for aid, but those with minor offenses such as DUIs or possession of marijuana would. ‘The line, to me, is people who are a threat,’ Steinberg said. “
It is no surprise that local residents were not shy of voicing their opposition to the move.
Jennifer Garets, a board member of Sacramento Republican Women Federated, said, “I think it’s disgusting …. I don’t think that taxpayer money should be used to support this. I’d rather it be given to the homeless.”
This concept of using taxpayer funds to assist illegal immigrants is not at all a new idea in California. San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and other major California districts have passed somewhat similar measures.