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Illegal haven in Redwood City?

By ngonzales
Monday, March 12th, 2007 at 8:37 pm in Uncategorized.

Redwood City is shaping up to be ground zero in San Mateo County for the debate over illegal immigration, if it’s not already.

During Monday night’s council meeting, several people spoke out against what they thought was the possibility that the city could become a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.

“I and many other citizens in Redwood City are opposed to this action,” one man told the council.

Another man said, “I don’t want our council to support illegal residents. I want the council to support legal residents.”

The residents expressed their concern during the public-comment period, responding to a plan by a newly-formed immigration advocacy coalition to convert the city and county into a safe haven for undocumented immigrants as reported in a recent Times story.

This coalition banded together in the wake of federal raids that netted several illegal immigrants in the Redwood City area as part of a nationwide border-enforcement effort.

Mayor Barbara Pierce said the council had yet to receive a safe-haven proposal. But if and when it does, she said, the council would discuss and decide on the matter in open session.

She said the city is not interfering with the federal enforcement program.

However, local police “are enforcing the law in terms of criminal behavior not immigration status,” she said.

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