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Fullerton Shows Up for its Immigrant Communities

FULLERTON, CA - On the night of April 3rd, 2018, Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn and Council Member Jennifer Fitzgerald requested the City of Fullerton consider supporting the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against the State of California regarding the California Values Act (SB 54), also known as the 'sanctuary state' bill, alongside the City of Alamitos, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and others. The Korean Resource Center (KRC) and partners made a call to action for Fullerton residents and allies to attend the City Council meeting to let the City Council Members know that immigrant communities will rise together against their acts of discrimination, and won. 

At the meeting, there were a total of 112 speakers over the consideration of the City of Fullerton to join the lawsuit. Of these speakers, there was an overwhelming support of immigrant communities as 105 were in support of SB 54 and asked the City Council not to join the lawsuit. Many of these supporters were local residents from fellow immigrant rights organizations, labor organizations, churches, and the education field. After many hours of impassioned speeches, Council Member Jesus Silva made a motion to receive and file the discussion item and both Mayor Doug Chaffee and Mayor Pro Tem Sebourn seconded the motion, opting to take no action and not support the lawsuit. After voicing support to sue California, Council Member Bruce Whitaker abstained on the final vote and Council Member Fitzgerald was the only outstanding vote, saying nay. KRC and its immigrant community members are ecstatic that Fullerton will not be joining the DOJ lawsuit and are moved by the number of supporters of immigrant rights.

Jonathan Paik, Orange County Director and lifelong Fullerton resident said, "I was born and raised in Fullerton and I continue to be proud of my city, which has become one of the first Orange County cities to reject the administrations anti-immigrant agenda. We believe that Fullerton is only the first of many cities to take this stand and show that Orange County is a county that stands for immigrants."

Alice, Immigraht Rights Youth Organizer, and one of the main leads of last night's call to action said, "Although Council Member Fitzgerald tried to drag Fullerton to the wrong side of the history, Fullerton remained on the right side of the history and decided remain as a sanctuary city to protect our communities. This was done not by the Council Members and Mayor alone, but by the members of our community. Unfortunately, other cities of Orange County, such as Hungtington Beach, are still making the deplorable mistake of trying to join Jeff Sessions' hateful and anti-immigrant agenda, and we need to keep showing up and correct their mistakes. "

Christine Park, Immigrant Rights Campaign Coordinator said, "The results of the Fullerton City Council meeting demonstrates that Orange County shows up for all immigrants. Fullerton residents of all backgrounds including the formerly undocumented, educators, children, and residents of over 50 years implored the City Council to choose love over hate and hospitality over hostility. KRC is proud to be part of the Fullerton community, but we still have a long ways to go. Our next step is to attend the Los Alamitos City Council meeting on April 16th to demand they change course and keep their immigrant communities safe."

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