November 16, 2017 – Former Assembly Speaker and 41st Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa Issued the Following Statement Regarding the Trump Administration’s Threat to “Sanctuary” Cities:

“The facts are indisputable – “sanctuary” cities make Californians safer and immigrants make our economy stronger.

“Donald Trump and the Republican Congress are threatening cities that embrace proven sanctuary policies. What they don’t admit is that local law enforcement has continuously supported keeping police officers from serving as immigration agents because to fight crime, police need the support and cooperation of the entire community.

“In fact, this effort started in Los Angeles with the strong support of the city’s very conservative Police Chief Daryl Gates.

“In 1979, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) implemented Special Order 40, which was supported by both the Police Chief Gates and the Los Angeles City Council. Recognizing that communities were safer when people came forward to work with police officers, Special Order 40 prevented police officers from acting as immigration agents and questioning people about their immigration status. This encouraged people to report crimes and act as witnesses without intimidation and the threat of being deported.

“As a result of this Order, the police worked with the community to identify, arrest and prosecute criminals. Cities across the country followed, using the Los Angeles model to encourage more victims and witnesses to cooperate with police.

“In addition, it’s a fact that immigrants both documented and undocumented contribute billions of dollars to our state and national economy. Immigrant workers are important to the California economic and contribute about 32 percent of the state’s GDP, which amounts to roughly $715 billion. Undocumented immigrants alone contribute about $181 billion of the state’s GDP. Immigrants are over the-thirds of all agricultural workers and nearly half of all workers in the manufacturing industry. In fact, immigrants comprise more than 35 percent of California’s workforce.

“Donald Trump’s attacks on immigrants are not only counter to our values, but will weaken our economy and make our cities less safe.”