SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials in San Jose is considering beefing up its own sanctuary city policy with a proposal that would cuts almost all ties with federal ICE agents.
City Councilman Lan Diep said he wants to send a clear message to the Trump Administration: that San Jose will not take part in an immigration crackdown.
“It demonstrates where my heart is on this issue,” said Diep.
With few exceptions, his “Shield Our City” proposal would prohibit San Jose police from agreeing to work with federal immigration agents.
“We are not obstructing the federal government. We’re just saying locally we want a say in how you do it. And I think, perhaps, there’s some wiggle room there,” said Diep.
The proposal would also make certain places like schools, hospitals, places of worship and public demonstrations off limits, requiring ICE agents to get permission from the city attorney before conducting raids there.
“People should be able to go to these places — go about their daily lives — without fear of getting caught up in a raid,” said Diep.
But critics question if the proposed ordinance is even legal, arguing San Jose has no authority to write rules for federal agents or agencies.
Critics worry the political fallout could cost the city millions in federal dollars.
“I do worry that it might not be constitutional. Federal law supersedes state law and even local laws,” said councilmember Johnny Khamis.
So it is up to the San Jose City Council to decide if the controversial plan will shield the city from overly-aggressive immigration enforcement or leave it exposed to legal challenges.