Friday, July 6, 2007

In the wake of an immigration raid, some activist groups are trying to pressure the California city of Santa Ana (pop. 351,322) to declare itself a "sanctuary city." But some members of the Santa Ana government are skeptical:

Councilwoman Michele Martinez said she inquired about the designation several months ago, but city staff has yet to respond.

“Most of the council thinks sanctuary is not going to do anything, so why even do it,” Martinez said.

Still, Martinez said she was considering bring the measure before the City Council.

Police Chief Paul Walters said he did not support it. Illegal immigrants are referred to federal authorities only if they commit a crime, he said.

Sanctuary “is a political statement,” he said. “It's not anything we want to support in this city. We want to go after criminals and work with federal authorities.”