Pasadena votes on changes to city's immigration policy

Pasadena neighbors packed the city council meeting Monday night to deliver a message: they want stronger immigration policy in the city.

"We ask you to show courage by making Pasadena a true sanctuary city," one resident said.

Several Pasadena families at a rally held before the council meeting said they have been affected by the immigration policies of the Trump administration.

Estefany Ortiz is one family torn apart. She said ICE detained her father two months ago.

"Ever since they took him it's been something very difficult, very heartbreaking for us," she said. "It's something we don't want anyone else to go through."

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez told residents the department's policy on cooperation with ICE has been the same since the late 1980s.

"The department's position is not to enforce or investigate federal information laws," Sanchez said.

The council did vote on a policy amendment that would ensure cooperation with ICE as it relates to national security, terrorism, human and drug trafficking.

However, activists called for no cooperation in any circumstance.

"There should be no exceptions, no carveouts, no amendments and no other reason other than we don't cooperate with ICE," one man said.

Advocates believe any sharing of information with ICE would put the community at risk.

"All of us who are victims of robberies, burglaries, assaults, those immigrants who are witnesses will not come to court and testify," attorney Juan Mejia said.

The city council voted unanimously to enact its proposed policy change.

Pasadena did not declare itself a sanctuary city.

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