Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

City of West Covina Affirms Commitment to Immigrants

WEST COVINA, CA -- Late Tuesday night, West Covina City Council members affirmed the City’s commitment to immigrants as a vital and integral part of the community by upholding and not taking action on SB 54, also known as the California Values Act. The vote is a welcome change from just last year, when the City Council voted to formally oppose the legislation before it was signed into law by Governor Brown last October.  
 
“This is about valuing families and keeping them together. Our kids attend the same schools, we are part of one community,” said Beatriz Sandoval, leader of LA Voice. “Last night we showed that the San Gabriel Valley is a place that values families and community trust, not racism and othering.” 
 
A broad coalition of community, advocacy, civil rights, and labor groups supported the City’s move to abide by SB 54, including Advancing Justice-LA, California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), LA Voice, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC), San Gabriel Valley-Immigrant Youth Coalition (SGV-IYC), The Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley, and the ICE out of LA Coalition.  
 
City Council chambers were filled to capacity for last night’s vote, including many residents who testified before the city council. “As a resident of West Covina and a member of an immigrant family, I am glad that the city council did the right thing by supporting SB 54,” said Ellie from the San Gabriel Valley Immigrant Youth Coalition. “By making this stand, they are reaffirming the fact that immigrant families are welcomed in the San Gabriel Valley, are valued and are being heard. We will continue to thrive together, as a united and strong community.” 
 
West Covina is in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, home to nearly a million Latinos (56.4%) and half a million Asian Americans (25.7%), a third of which is foreign-born. At a time when federal policies are increasingly targeting and scapegoating immigrant communities, the city’s commitment to its diverse community is essential to maintaining trust and community confidence. West Covina is also home to a vibrant small business community and major shopping centers and studies show that cities with sanctuary policies are actually safer and more economically vibrant than others.  
 
“By supporting SB 54, an important California law that limits local involvement in painful and unjust deportations, West Covina is standing on the right side of history,” said Shiu-Ming Cheer, Senior Staff Attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. 
 
"Last night, the City of West Covina did the right thing by listening to the overwhelming call to respect diversity and protect their residents regardless of their immigrant status," said Marvin Andrade, Senior Manager of Coalition Building at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles.  "We will remain vigilant and stand side by side with those that value the contributions immigrants provide to the San Gabriel Valley."
Contact: 
Randy Bunnao, 213-241-0227 [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018
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