National City votes to become a "compassionate city" - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

National City votes to become a "compassionate city"

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NATIONAL CITY (NEWS 8) - The National City Council on Monday unanimously voted to become a "compassionate city."

It's welcoming news to immigration activists fighting to protect thousands of undocumented residents in the city, but not everyone celebrated the vote.

On Monday, two different resolutions were presented: One to make National City a "welcoming city" and the other to make it a "compassionate city." 

The City Council's vote made National City the fifth so-called "welcoming city" in San Diego County, but they are calling it a "compassionate city," a symbolic gesture to become more immigrant-friendly.

"It's more than just words. It's also a message that immigrant communities need to hear that their local elected leaders are standing shoulder to shoulder with them," said Christian Ramirez with Alliance San Diego.

The "compassionate city" resolution adds more support for immigrants regardless of their residential status. The resolution stands up against bullying and supports the dreamers, which teachers are rallying behind. But not everyone is happy. Some are claiming more needs to be done. 

Although police said they do not inquire about immigration status from tipsters or in criminal investigations, the police chief has his reservations.

"It may eliminate our ability to attack some of the drug rings, criminal rings that involved because some of them may be undocumented," Manuel Rodriguez, National City Police Chief.

Immigration advocates said they have more work to do, but said what National City has done for its 25,000 immigrants is a victory.

"We want them to know that as a city we are going to be as compassionate as we can and do everything we can do in our authority, but we are not going to promise them something that isn't in our authority," said Ron Morrison, National City Mayor.

National City also agreed to support Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, known as the Sanctuary State Law. This would not de-fund federal money.

The other four welcoming cities in San Diego County include: Encinitas, Solana Beach, Lemon Grove and Chula Vista.

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