In a move aimed squarely at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, the Los Angeles City Council today is poised to create an immigrant advocate who would “protect residents against mass deportations” possible under the new White House administration, according to a statement from the office of council president Herb Wesson.
Wesson's proposal, which he says would result in a national first, would create an advocate who would also have the job of fighting for federal dollars at a time when Trump could halt some federal cash flow to cities that don't abide by his immigration program. Trump has vowed to deport 3 million people in the U.S. illegally who have what he described as criminal records. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal after a 10 a.m. hearing.
The move is a “response to the incoming administration’s pledge to take drastic action on immigration,” according to Wesson's office. “Friday’s actions will signal to Los Angeles families that their safety is a top priority for the City Council.”
Vanessa Rodriguez, press deputy for Wesson, said a passing vote would give the city authority to fill the position. She said the council president would likely be searching for a candidate who's an immigration law expert. The immigrant advocate would work under the Office of Immigrant Affairs, and advise the council on issues affecting the undocumented, Wesson has said.
Though it appears Wesson has a pretty good idea what the job will entail, approval by the council would order the city’s Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer to outline the advocate's formal duties. Wesson hopes to have the advocate clocking in at City Hall by spring.
He noted that if Trump carries out his deportation vow, in could affect nearly one in five Angelenos.
“I'm not itching for a fight” with the Trump administration, Wesson said previously. “I'm itching to protect the city I love. I want to be prepared, in the event anything happens, to defend this city and our policies. I want to be prepared for anything.”