A defund plan to empty pocketbooks of 'sanctuary cities'

- Joseph Turner returned to Cudahy City Hall on Tuesday with a larger plan to empty the pocketbooks of sanctuary cities.

"This is part of our larger campaign to defund sanctuary cities," Turner said. "Sanctuary cities obviously give aid to illegal aliens and we do not want that happening in our country."

Turner is the executive director of a Torrance based group called American Children First.

Under Prop 218, he's filing an initiative to decrease taxes for city residents with the purpose of cutting revenue from the general fund.

"For as little as as a couple hundred bucks and less than a hundred signatures we can put a measure on the ballot that would attack 13.5 percent of their revenue base," Turner said.

13.5 percent might not sound like a lot, but it is to the small city of Cudahy with a majority Latino immigrant population.

Resident Susie De Santiago said it's not right for Turner's group to meddle in city affairs based on their own political beliefs. 

"They just come and cause problems they terrorize the community because this is a community of Latino people," De Santiago said.

The sanctuary city issue has been contentious in Cudahy with repeated protests outside city hall, some have turned violent.

"I don't mind protecting the innocent people, but criminals is where I have a problem and with sanctuary cities they don't draw the line they pretty much protect both," Cudahy resident, Maria Ponce, said.

Cudahy contracts with the LA County Sheriff's Department for policing and for that Council member Jack Guerrero said the city's status as a sanctuary is merely symbolic.

He abstained from the vote to approve the city as a sanctuary two years ago. 

"The city of Cudahy wants to associate with that label at risk to federal funding and at risk to negative publicity," Guerrero said. "Today I think we have seen a manifestation of that publicity."

A city spokesperson released this statement in response to the group which reads in full,

“It’s unfortunate that outside extremists are targeting cites that have declared sanctuary status in order to ensure residents are afforded full protections guaranteed under the Constitution by pushing to repeal individual utility taxes.  These taxes are used to provide essential city services to all residents, citizen and non-citizen. This is nothing more than a scorched earth policy perpetrated by fanatics who have an agenda to punish people who don’t look like them.”   

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