Orange County votes to challenge California's sanctuary law

Orange County votes to challenge California's sanctuary law

Last week the tiny city of Los Alamitos opted out, and on Tuesday the Orange County Board of Supervisors will consider a lawsuit challenging the sanctuary cities law.

Officials in Orange County, a traditionally more conservative pocket of liberal California, say the law does not stop sheriff's deputies from giving immigration authorities access to jails to interview inmates. "It would be easier for everyone involved and safer for the community and law enforcement if they were relinquished to the custody of ICE rather than returned to the community". The US Justice Department headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California earlier this month over three pro-immigrant state laws, including the one that bars local law enforcement officials in many cases from turning over prisoners to immigration authorities.

Orange County throwing its weight behind the administration is symbolic.

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley wrote in an email late Monday that she would not comment "beyond what the Sheriff has said". "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".

"A local jurisdiction, whether it's a county or a city, will have to be able to explain if it decides not to follow state law, why it doesn't - and of course, any time you don't follow the law, you're going to be subject to the penalties that might be part of that law", Becerra said.

That law, known as SB 54, limits the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities.

Officials for other cities in Orange County, including Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Aliso Viejo, have expressed solidarity with Los Alamitos and are considering taking up similar anti-sanctuary measures.

"This change in policy is basically affecting everybody else who doesn't have a serious criminal history under SB-54", she said.

Spitzer, a former prosecutor who now is running for District Attorney, said it's too risky to law enforcement to let people out of jail while another law agency is looking to arrest them.

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California Democrats also reacted furiously this week to plans by the administration to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census, a move that California lawmakers say could spook illegal immigrants from answering - leading to blue states with high numbers of illegal immigrants being underfunded.

The sheriff's department did not discuss the issue with ICE prior to placing inmates' release dates on its website.

"State law is state law".

"This is about common sense-local law enforcement has to work with federal law enforcement to enforce the country's law", he said.

A spokesman for California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown said he was unlikely to react to the move.

Barnes said the new rule will safeguard the community.

Many of those gathered for the board meeting praised the elected leaders and urged them to proceed against California's laws.

Hutchens has been an outspoken critic of SB 54, which she said "makes local law enforcement's job more hard and requires bureaucratic processes that could allow unsafe individuals to fall through the cracks of our justice system".

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