Police chief warns council on dangers of ‘sanctuary city’ designation
–On April 18, 2017 the Paso Robles City Council directed staff to prepare a report on immigration. The city council was specifically interested in obtaining more information to understand the definition of a “sanctuary city.” At Tuesday night’s meeting, Police Chief Robert Burton gave a presentation of these findings.
His conclusion was, “in light of the recent Executive Order issued by the President of the United States and possible future immigration reform, the City of Paso Robles has struck a responsible balance between holding criminals accountable for their actions while still building trust within the community.”
The report found, if the city council adopts a resolution declaring Paso Robles as a “sanctuary city” there could be significant fiscal impacts. Since federal efforts to deter sanctuary policies are an evolving issue that will inevitably be subject to future litigation, the precise fiscal effects associated with being declared a “sanctuary city” are not yet fully known. Nevertheless, the city could potentially be at risk of losing access to millions of dollars in funding that would otherwise be used towards various projects and programs designed to benefit the health, welfare, and safety of the public.
The city receives various federal funds including Community Development Block Grant, Federal Transit and Transportation Funds, and Public Safety Funding. The federal funds for the fiscal year 2014-15 totaled $7,757,883 and the funds for the fiscal year 2015-16 totaled $342,117.
Of the funding mentioned above, anticipated future applications through federal grant programs would be most at risk because the executive departments that administer these programs have broad discretion to determine future awards, and the agency or department heads of these grant-making agencies report directly to the President.
In his report, Burton also included supplemental information such as the presidential executive order regarding immigration enforcement, and information about how a city could become a “welcoming city” rather than a “sanctuary city.”
To view the complete report, click here.