California county joins Trump 'sanctuary city' lawsuit
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Mar 29, 2018,
Mar 29, 2018, 1:16
Leaders in Orange County, California, have voted to join a USA government lawsuit against the state over its so-called sanctuary law for immigrants living in the US illegally. Orange County, which is home to Disneyland and wealthy beach communities where many people vacation, has always been known as a GOP stronghold, but Democrats have gained significant ground in recent years.
The county supported Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election, the first time it voted for a Democrat since the Great Depression.
The suit argues that the California law is unconstitutional because the federal government has sole authority over immigration matters.
In Orange County, the small city of Los Alamitos recently approved an ordinance to exempt itself from the state's sanctuary law while leaders in the county seat of Santa Ana _ a self-declared immigrant sanctuary _ will consider filing an amicus brief to support California in federal court. "Along the way, law enforcement should absolutely cooperate fully within the constraints of federal law", she said.
The move highlights longstanding divisions over immigration in California.
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"Now, some localities are starting to fight back".
Outside the meeting room, several dozen immigrant advocates played music and held signs with slogans such as "Set Our People Free" and "Melt ICE" to urge supervisors not to join the USA lawsuit against California.
Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel originally proposed a resolution condemning the state law, which she called "totally unconstitutional". "Will you be able to do the same?" America is a country of immigrants, but we are legal immigrants. "It just doesn't make sense", Doris Matyasovich told the board.
On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which also opposes the sanctuary state law, began a practice of publishing the dates in which inmates will be released from custody, which the agency said is meant to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. "The law, however, does not limit information that is available to the public".
The Orange County Sheriff's Department has been the beneficiary of tighter immigration enforcement.
"The Orange County Board of Supervisor does hereby reject the effort through state law to violate the Constitution of the United States and instead will comply with the appropriate Federal Laws and the Constitution of the United States and encourage all cities and agencies within the County of Orange to do the same", the resolution states.
The Arizona law required police, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally, made it a crime to harbor immigrants here illegally, and banned them from seeking work in public places.