(FOX 11) - The front line in the battle over sanctuary cities heated up in Cudahy. One group trying to force the city to abandon its status as a "sanctuary city."
Firing up the debate is an idea brought forth by the Founder of American Children First, Joseph Turner.
"The goal of this initiative is to repeal the utility user tax. That tax is a tax on cable bills, cell phone bills...and that generates 13.5% of the tax for the city of Cudahy."
Thirteen point five percent would put more money in the pockets of residents, but would strip Cudahy of needed funds.
Turner says he'll drop gathering signatures for the initiative, under one condition.
"If they rescind the declaration of sanctuary city status, then I will go away," says Turner.
That's frustrating Cudahy's large immigrant population.
"We don't welcome their white supremacy. We don't welcome their racism. They're targeting our communities....to come in and agitate us," said Citlalli Anahuac, the organizer of the Mexica Movement.
Many sanctuary city supporters believe Turner is targeting their city, because it's easier to get initiatives on the ballot. He's required to get fewer signatures here.
During a tense city council meeting monitored by many sheriff deputies, residents expressed their frustration at the group of outsiders attempting to influence their city's politics.
"These people are outsiders," said Joseph Moreno.
"As Americans, we have a duty to help the most vulnerable in our society," said Latifo Lopez.
Copyright 2017 FOX 11 Los Angeles: Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Be a citizen journalist for FOX 11 and get paid – download the Fresco News App today.