MALIBU (AP) — Taking a stand in the national debate over illegal immigration, Malibu has joined the ranks of sanctuary cities.
The City Council of the celebrity enclave voted 3-2 this month to approve a resolution prohibiting use of city funds and resources to enforce federal civil immigration law.
Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal introduced the resolution after Malibu resident and actor Martin Sheen appeared before the council in December to urge a sanctuary designation.
“When I reached out to some of the people at the schools and other people in the community, they told me people are scared,” Rosenthal told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s people coming into Malibu who may be undocumented. I wanted to send a clear message that we are here for you.”
A report by the city attorney cited the potential for some “negative fiscal impacts” due to an executive order by President Donald Trump directing the attorney general and secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that sanctuary jurisdictions do not receive federal grants.
The report said the city receives annually about $46,000 in community development block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. Malibu also occasionally receives one-time grants from federal agencies but currently has none that are active.
Immigrants work throughout the city, according to Juan Escobar, 32, who works at the Malibu Country Mart.
“You see Spanish speakers taking care of babies in every house,” he told the Times. “They help people here.”
Resolution supporter Mikke Pierson, 57, said it is important to express support for people who are in the country illegally.
“Heck . we would be paralyzed and no one’s houses would be cleaned,” the former surf shop owner said.