By Hana Boston
Berkeley Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín held a press conference Tuesday to make clear that he and the City Council will ensure the city remains a sanctuary city, offering protection to immigrants and undocumented residents.
Community members crammed into the Berkeley City Council chambers Tuesday night to speak out about the absence of 9-year-old Rodrigo Guzman, a Jefferson Elementary School student who was sent back to Mexico with his family in January when they were denied re-entry into the United States due to expired visas. Jefferson students read statements to the council, which later unanimously approved a resolution to fight for the family’s return.
In a surprising twist, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to decline requests from U.S. immigration officials to apply more stringent detention rules to arrested individuals depending on citizenship status.
On a bright, sunny day, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of Berkeley’s Old City Hall to rally against the immigration laws that prompted the firing of 200 Pacific Steel Casting workers in December last year. Many of the fired workers and their families were joined by members of the teachers’ union, the nurses’ union, clergymen and women and other sympathizers. Following the rally, protesters were to march to the Pacific Steel site in west Berkeley.
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