In an effort to send a message to the city’s immigrant population, the Delano City Council voted to make the municipality a sanctuary city at a meeting on Monday.
The vote is largely symbolic, as state legislators have already voted to make California a sanctuary state under SB 54, which prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The issue had previously been considered last month in Delano, when the council tabled the vote to make sure the resolution did not conflict with SB 54.
Councilmember Bryan Osorio had introduced the resolution. Initially, he said he introduced it as a response to the mass immigration raids that President Donald Trump announced in early July.
But those raids have come and gone, and the resolution has taken on a new meaning.
“It is symbolic resolution, but hopefully one that reassures the community, the immigrant community, the undocumented community, that they can trust their public institutions,” he said.
He added that he had hoped the resolution would include three clauses that would have required city institutions provide educational material informing immigrants of their constitutional rights.
However, in order to pass, the three clauses needed to be struck.
Osorio said the city could still distribute the materials regardless.
The council voted 4-1, with Mayor Joe Aguirre against.
In comments at the meeting, Aguirre said he worried that the resolution would negatively affect the Delano Police Department, according to Kern Valley Public Radio.
He also worried that the resolution would impact the department’s federal funding, the radio station reported.
With the resolution, Delano became the first city in Kern County to become a sanctuary city.