VISTA, Calif. – The Vista City Council Tuesday night voted to back President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary city laws.
It was a debate that lasted nearly three hours as hundreds of residents packed the city council chambers.
“If our council elected not to write a letter of support for the Trump lawsuit, does that affect the safety of our community?” said councilman Joe Green.
Green brought forward a motion for a revote to withdraw the decision of the city council to support the lawsuit.
In June, Vista’s councilmembers voted 3 to 1 to write the Amicus Brief, voicing support for the Trump Administration’s action to sue California over immigration policies. Green’s action Tuesday was based on the fact councilman John Aguilera was absent from that vote.
Before the revote, a public hearing was held.
“If you let anyone and abolish ICE, anyone with a criminal mind and record can come here,” said one resident.
More than four dozen residents showed up to speak from both sides of the issue. However, the majority of the citizens were in support of Green.
"It’s not about opening borders to other countries, it’s about keeping community united,” said a student speaker.
“It’s very important and near and dear to my heart,” said Rebecca Medici.
Medici, who is a Vista resident and immigration attorney, said Tuesday was the third time attending the city council meeting on this issue.
“I have a lot of Latino neighbors. I feel very strongly about this immigration issue,” said Medici.
Dennis Jobe, also a Vista resident, spoke in favor of the lawsuit.
“Our whole country is a sanctuary country,” said Jobe. “Currently the laws are there and they’re not being enforced."
In the end, Green could not gain the support of fellow councilmembers and his motion failed. The former decision stands and Vista will now join the move to fight sanctuary city law.
“It’s a terrible disappointment, but it’s not completely unexpected, considering this is the third time it’s come up,” said Medici.
“It’s not up to us to decide on our own and separate ourselves from what our federal laws are,” said Jobe.
San Diego County, as well as the cities of Carlsbad and Escondido, have also voted to back the Trump lawsuit.
A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the following quote to Rebecca Medici: "Our whole country is a sanctuary country." That statement was made by Dennis Jobe.