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The Gaucho Gazette

Petaluma an Unofficial Sanctuary City

Gabi Cervantes and Zach McGunagle

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On February 27, Petaluma became  a safe haven for people threatened by President Trump’s enforcement of immigration laws, with the city council’s  unanimous vote to accept the “It Won’t Happen Here” safeguard. This means that undocumented immigrants currently residing in Petaluma cannot face discrimination from law enforcement. “It Won’t Happen Here” was a petition signed by  875 community members and after a packed city hall meeting, all members of the city council  voted  to pass the new act.

A group of students attended the meeting to speak to the council and make their voices heard. Junior Lizbeth Velasco shares her experience at the meeting, and how she felt about the new policy.

“It was really emotional, we really didn’t think all the council members would say yes,” said Velasco

Velasco’s speech described how the current situation is affecting Velasco and her close friends as well.

“We are not criminals. Our people come here for a better life, not only for themselves but for their children so they can have a better education their parents couldn’t have, so they don’t have to struggle like their parents do, so they can become stronger and educate others, so they could become the next great generation,” said Velasco in her speech to the council.

Mayor David Glass appointed three council members to come up with a formal resolution. The next morning the draft of the resolution was passed along with other provisions that say the city will not agree to the demand from the federal government to institute deportations, registries, imprisonment based on immigration status or race. Junior Lupe Ortiz also spoke at the meeting, and explains how she gained the courage to speak to the council.

“At first I was really nervous because there was a lot more people than I expected, but I went right after someone against the act being passed. He was very racist and very rude about all the people in the room; he was making remarks about them and how the people inside the building could be rapists. So that made me angry to the point that I had the courage to deliver my speech with more emotion than I expected to do,” said Ortiz.

Cities and towns close to Petaluma such as Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, and Sebastopol have also been announced to be safe for immigrants. In addition, the California State Senate has put forward a bill to officially declare California a protected place for immigrants.

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The student news site of Casa Grande High School
Petaluma an Unofficial Sanctuary City