Bill Wechter / AFP / Getty
JOEL B. POLLAK
More California cities may consider defying the state’s “sanctuary state” laws, after the city council of Los Alamitos passed an ordinance defying the state’s controversial new legislation preventing cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Leaders of Los Alamitos, in Orange County, passed the ordinance 4-1 and instructed the city attorney to file an amicus brief in the ongoing Department of Justice lawsuit against the State of California. The lawsuit challenges the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54).
The Orange County Register reports that other cities — and even Orange County itself — are now thinking of following suit (original links):
The County of Orange and several cities in Southern California soon might join Los Alamitos in its bid to opt out of a controversial state law that limits cooperation with federal immigration officials.
Officials with the county as well as leaders in Aliso Viejo and Buena Park said Tuesday they plan to push for various versions of the anti-sanctuary ordinance approved in Los Alamitos late Monday by a 4-1 vote of that city council.
Immigration advocates said Los Alamitos and cities and counties that follow its opt-out ordinance will be violating state law and at risk of litigation.
But Los Alamitos’ anti-sanctuary push also received wide attention in conservative media, and gained support from those who don’t agree with California’s protective stance on all immigrants, regardless of legal status.
Orange County is a key battleground in 2018, both at the state and federal levels. Democrats are hoping to pick up several U.S. House seats in the county, which voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 — the first time in decades that the traditionally conservative county had backed a Democrat.
But Republicans are backing a recall of State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) for voting to raise the gas tax. A ballot initiative to repeal the gas tax hike could also bring Republicans out to vote. And the immigration issue is likely to fuel turnout even more.
Proponents of the Los Alamitos legislation argued that the state was forcing local officials to defy their oath to the Constitution, and that the new ordinance was faithful to the rule of law.