Hayward Councilmember Elisa Marquez
says she supports becoming a sanctuary city.

While many East Bay city councils have offered almost unanimous support for defying President Trump and his immigration policies, Hayward is a notable outlier. Even the politically moderate city of Dublin agendized a discussion on sanctuary cities last week before shooting it down.

But in Hayward, elected officials have remained silent, while the stirrings of its large minority communities in support of becoming a sanctuary city become more noticeable.

The reason for the Hayward City Council’s apparent inaction is simple, said Hayward Councilmember Elisa Marquez, there is no current support among elected officials to even start a discussion about sanctuary cities, let alone approve a resolution.
“I’ve been wanting to but there’s not enough support on the council,” said Marquez following Monday night meeting of the Hayward Anti-Discrimination Task Force. “I’ve asked for a briefing because feel like we need more information.”

In recent weeks, Councilmember Francisco
Zermeno’s social media posts have featured
anti-Trump sentiment.

Among the seven councilmembers, only Marquez and Councilmember Francisco Zermeno have issued public support for Hayward becoming a sanctuary city. In order to be included on a future city council agenda, two other councilmembers would need to support it.

Mayor Barbara Halliday, as parliamentarian, could place the item on the agenda herself. But her stance in recent public settings, including Monday night, suggests she is unwilling to put Hayward’s federal funding at risk by making a sanctuary city declaration.

Marquez, though, is clear about her support, in an interview this week. At one point chiding her colleague’s intransigence toward the issue.

“This is a civil rights and a humanity issue,” said Marquez. “If you feel strongly about those issues, then you’re willing to taking a stance.”

ALSO: Hayward officials showing resistance to becoming sanctuary city

Marquez also doesn’t agree with an assertion made Monday night by Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo and Halliday that the city’s estimated $33 million in current and future federal funding could be pulled by becoming a sanctuary city. “I don’t believe the executive order is constitutional,” said Marquez.

A growing consensus agrees that Trump’s sanctuary city executive order is unconstitutional, including nearly every city attorney that has offered an opinion on sanctuary cities in the East Bay. The main argument being the executive order illegally places new conditions on federal funding, after the fact, in addition to circumventing the power of the purse granted to Congress.

According to Marquez, Hayward City Attorney Michael Lawson has not yet been asked to offer the City Council any guidance on sanctuary cities.