California enjoys a well-deserved reputation as the hotbed of liberalism, but some communities are pointing out that the state should not be painted with a big, broad brush. Following a recent lawsuit by the Department of Justice, an increasing number of political subdivisions are starting to push back, especially when it comes to being part of the sanctuary state status.
The Democratic-controlled California Legislature made headlines last fall when it passed Senate Bill 54, which among other things prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from assisting Federal Immigration officials. Since that time the interpretation of the law has resulted in California law enforcement from backing up Border Patrol agents during pursuits, turning over illegal immigrants following release from prison and accepting prisoners detained by Federal officers for crimes such as DUI. Supporters of the law claim that they are following the wishes of the citizens by protecting all who call California home. But it would seem that they do not speak for ALL Californians.
In March the Department of Justice, upon the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s immigration laws. Now, a growing number of California communities are siding with the Department of Justice and taking on their Capital leadership.
Santa Ana – Officials voted to condemn part of the law and side with the Trump Administration in the pending court action.
Los Alamitos – city leaders approved an ordinance to opt out of the state sanctuary status and filed an amicus brief on behalf of the DOJ in the pending lawsuit.
The city of Anderson, and two neighboring counties – declared their jurisdictions as “non-sanctuary.”
Orange County– Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced her office would start publishing the release dates of ALL county prisoners, which will allow Immigration officials to meet and detain illegals.
Many of the local officials claim they are siding with Federal authorities because immigration is a Federal matter and that failing to allow enforcement of immigration laws rewards bad behavior. Others, however, are using this as an opportunity to take a shot at the overwhelming Democratic political machine, which they say ignores the beliefs of the minority Republican communities. Regardless of why they are doing it, one thing is clear, not everyone in California is happy with the left-leaning Capital leaders.
It remains to be seen how the state will address these communities who opt to ignore what is now state law, especially those who do so via the local rulemaking procedure. After all, how can a state which is claiming the ability to pass laws contrary to Federal law punish local jurisdictions that choose to do the same thing when it comes to state laws? In the end, this is what the Federal lawsuit will be about; not whether or not the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement is fair or just but whether or not a lower level of government can choose to ignore the laws passed higher up the ladder simply because they disagree.
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