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Seattle Declared A Sanctuary City, Anti-Apartheid Resolutions Hit Obstacles

January 14, 1986 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) _ The City Council has declared Seattle a sanctuary for refugees, saying there is evidence that people fleeing Central American violence are treated unfairly by U.S. immigration officials.

In an 8-0 vote Monday, the council urged ″fair and impartial enforcement of federal immigration law,″ and called on the state’s congressional delegation to ask Congress to investigate the application of that law to people from El Salvador and Guatemala.

The resolution makes Seattle a refuge for all people fleeing their homelands, not just El Salvador and Guatemala.


The federal government contends that Central Americans entering the United States without documentation generally do so for economic reasons, not political ones that could lead to asylum. Those apprehended face deportation.

State and local efforts on another international issue, South African apartheid, ran into obstacles Monday in San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.

In San Francisco, supervisors delayed until next week a vote on an ordinance to protest South Africa’s system of racial segregation by banning the city from contracting with or investing in businesses with ties to that nation. The ordinance was on the agenda, but the board never got to it.

In Sacramento, state Assembly Republicans blocked an attempt to override Gov. George Deukmejian’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited future state investments in companies doing business in South Africa.

The vote on the override attempt was 41-33, 13 short of the two-thirds majority needed. Democrats do not have a two-thirds majority in either the Assembly or the Senate.