Backlash against Imperial Beach's "Welcoming City" proclamation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Backlash against Imperial Beach's "Welcoming City" proclamation

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A group of citizens in Imperial Beach spoke out Wednesday night against the recent "Welcoming City" proclamation made by the mayor - a proclamation they say would bring un-screened refugees to their city.

The "Welcoming City" proclamation was made back in August. The mayor said it was simply his way of saying - "We are a friendly city. We love having lots of diverse people here."

Mayor Serge Dedina received an earful during Wednesday night's City Council meeting from Imperial Beach residents who oppose the proclamation. 

"We can't just trust anyone. They are unvetted. We are opening a can of worms," said one resident. The can of worms some residents were referring to are refugees from the Middle East.

According to Dedina, the proclamation does nothing more than welcome refugees.

"We welcome all legal immigrants - all American citizens. We welcome anyone to enjoy some of the best surf in the country. I welcome everyone to surf it with me," said Mayor Dedina.

The "Welcoming Communities" program is an Obama administration initiative intended to encourage communities to help immigration and refugee integration. Imperial Beach residents said the city does not have the infrastructure to support such a program.

Residents want the City Council to rescind the proclamation and asked to have it put to a popular vote.

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