SAN DIEGO - Two incoming members of the San Diego City Council Wednesday urged their future colleagues to adopt a legislative platform opposing federal policies they expect to be adopted once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
The call came in a joint statement from council members-elect Chris Ward and Georgette Gomez.
"The election of Donald Trump after a campaign directly threatening the basic rights and humanity of San Diego's LGBTQ community, immigrants, and diverse faiths must be a call to action," said Ward, who will represent Hillcrest, the historic heart of San Diego's gay and lesbian community.
"Since the election he has clearly signaled his intention to follow through on his reckless campaign rhetoric, and our city must send a clear message now to concerned residents and the incoming administration alike that we will stand up for all San Diegans against hate and destructive policies," he said.
Gomez said Trump's words and actions have had a chilling effect in her communities, which run from the College Area through City Heights to Southcrest, and include many residents new to the United States.
"Our city has a proud and rich history of welcoming immigrants and refugees, and I am fully committed to stand with all San Diegans to ensure every resident is treated with dignity and respect," Gomez said.
"The direction being charted by the incoming administration with regard to border and immigration policies threaten our workforce, undermine public safety and stifle our economic vitality in our binational region," she said. "Our border city is a unique, vibrant, and diverse community -- and we intend to safeguard the rights of all San Diegans."
"Creating a registry of people based on their Muslim background, that is absolutely inappropriate; I believe it's un-American," said Ward.
The City Council is scheduled to consider its federal legislative platform for next year at its meeting on Monday, a week before Ward and Gomez are sworn in. The platform provides directions for the city's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
Some of their suggestions are to oppose:
-- federal funding cuts to cities where local law enforcement agencies do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents
-- federal attempts to intervene with the interests of cities in governing their communities, including compelling local law enforcement to act as federal agents or prosecuting city leaders who seek local protections for undocumented immigrants
-- the development of any registry of individuals based on religious identification, country of origin, racial or ethnic background
-- funding and development of unnecessary and ineffective border infrastructure, like a wall, and to instead enhance cross-border commerce
-- the reversal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs that have helped eligible minors and young adults pursue higher education opportunities
They said they would support federal assistance and legislation to give local law enforcement the ability to prevent and respond to hate crimes and discrimination.
"What we're trying to do is send a very strong message, as a major us city, what our values are and where our expectations of the federal government are," said Ward.
Gomez said, "The city of San Diego should stand strong in ensuring our citizens, our residents, that they're going to be safe."
Legal analyst Brian Watkins told 10News the question now is what the federal government is going to do about it.
What Gomez and Ward are asking for, essentially lobbying at both the federal and state level, is fine, said Watkins. However, the government, a Trump administration, has the authority to respond.
"The federal government has power to cut funding when cities and local government don't comply with federal law," he said.