Families of undocumented immigrants ask Mendota City Council to make town a Sanctuary City

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During Tuesday's public comment, families asked for Mendota to become a sanctuary city-- one where local officers can't use their resources to help federal immigration enforcement. (KFSN)

Unfamiliar faces gathered in front of Mendota City Hall-- many, like 13-year-old Chavelli Perez, stepping into council chambers for the first time, driven by what they believe is necessity.

"It's really important for not only me, but the community-- I wouldn't want to grow up separated from my family," said Perez.

In the past few months Mendota has repeatedly made the news over deportation fears. Back in May, ICE sent a letter to a minister and mother, ordering her to leave the country.

Then last month the city proposed a resolution that would oppose California becoming a sanctuary state.

"This community is under attack, it's very obviously under attack and we feel the need for the city council to step up and support their immigrant community," said Leticia Valencia, Faith in Community.

During Tuesday's public comment, families asked for Mendota to become a sanctuary city-- one where local officers can't use their resources to help federal immigration enforcement.

A supporter for sanctuary city said, "Personally I have been scared to return home after school when I hear that ICE is in Mendota, because I don't want to come home and not find my parents."

These stories seemed to resonate, at least with Mayor Rolando Castro, who told the room his father was also deported 10 years ago-- promising to take their suggestions into consideration.

A wait, some advocates say, undocumented families may not be able to afford.

"It just feels too close to home here-- Mendota feels like it's ground zero for attacks," said Valencia.

If the council chooses to draft and adopt this resolution down the road, they will be only the second city in the Valley to do so after Livingston.

Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationsanctuary citiesfresno countyICEMendota
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