Lee Brand: No clear definition for sanctuary cities

FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- Flanked by community leaders and the police chief Mayor Lee Brand did not see the need for Fresno to be known as a sanctuary city, but he offered his support for non US citizens.

"Immigrants, both those who are documented and those who are undocumented, work and live among us. They are an integral part in a multicultural fabric that is the city of Fresno."

Protests have been held over the Mayor's stance so this show of city unity was meant to calm fears.

A clear definition of a sanctuary city has not been established but Ariana Martinez-Lott wants Fresno to take the extra step.

"I think first and foremost, the protection is going with to be clarifying that Fresno will be a sanctuary city. That's what we will continue to fight for."

"The only difference between Fresno and other cities that label themselves as sanctuary cities are only words with no clear definition," said Brand.

Sanctuary cities are described as those which limit local co-operation with federal immigration agents.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said officers are not looking to arrest people based on their immigration status.

"As police officers we're to be engaged in criminal enforcement. Going after true criminals and that's what we're going to continue to do, not enforce immigration laws."

EMBED More News Videos

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and city leaders address Fresno's immigration policy

Local leaders came to reassure the community, especially undocumented workers and even Muslims.

"Whether you are undocumented or not we are going to give you the same protection we give every other resident of this city," said Oliver Baines, City Councilmember.

This week the city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit over President Trump's executive order which threatens to withhold federal funds to cities which hinder the deportation process of undocumented immigrants.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.