A special session of the Santa Maria City Council drew an estimated 1200 people to the Fairpark on Thursday, ending with a 3-2 vote in favor of moving forward with the planning department's recommendation for the development of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.
The session ran roughly from 3 - 11:00 p.m. with a strong protest presence against relocating the ICE office within Santa Maria.
The federal agency wants to move its regional processing operations to a building planned for 740 West Century St., in Santa Maria. The city's planning commission voted in favor of a permit for the developer to build a 12,700 foot building to house the ICE facility on Feb. 5.
Several appeals were filed in the wake of that ruling by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, and neighbors to the planned location.
Council Member Bob Orach made the motion to uphold the planning department's decision, seconded by Member Willie Green. Member Jack Boysen also voted in favor. Mayor Alice Patino and Member Terri Zuniga dissented.