Council to consider “sanctuary” action

THINGS GOT pretty loud last week when the Fountain Valley City Council heard comments on “sanctuary city” laws (Orange County Tribune photo by Chris Vo).

The issue of “sanctuary city” laws will go before the Westminster City Council when it meets on Wednesday.

Councilwoman Margie Rice is asking the council to support the U.S. Department of Justice’s legal efforts against new California’s laws that the federal government feels interferes with enforcement of immigration laws.

Several area city councils – including Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley – have voted either to join the state’s lawsuit, or file an amicus (friend of the court) brief or both on its behalf.

Fullerton has decided against such actions.

Those council meetings have been loud and long – the Huntington Beach council devoted over four hours to the subject last week – and have brought out advocates of both sides from across Orange County and even from out-of-state.

According to the city, in the federal lawsuit, three California “sanctuary city” laws are cited and have these effects:

  • AB 450: Prohibits private employers from cooperating with federal immigration officials and requires that such employers notify employees in advance of a potential worksite inspection;
  • SB 54: Prevents local law enforcement from providing information to federal authorities about the release date of undocumented immigrants who are in their custody and bans the transfer of these “criminal immigrants” to federal custody.
  • AB 103: Creates a state-run inspection and review of federal detention of immigrants held in facilities under federal contracts.

The council meets in its chambers at 8200 Westminster Blvd. at 7 p.m.

1 reply »

  1. I am not sure I would rely on the city’s staff report for an accurate description of so called Sanctuary Laws. AB 450, for example does not prohibit employers from cooperating with the federal immigration officials. It does require that workers get the same notice of an impending enforcement action that employers receive and requires a warrant or subpoena before ICE just shows up to start questioning workers in a non-public area of a business. It is tragic that our federal immigration enforcement has arrived at a place where a law like AB 450 is needed to shore up long-held American values like presumption of innocence, no search without a warrant and due process. The description of SB 54 is equally weak. There are more than 800 serious crimes where cooperation with federal immigration authorities is allowed. The release date issue is also misrepresented. Court rulings have prohibited local authorities from holding people PAST their release date AFTER serving their sentence. ICE can look at the calendar and do their own work. AB 103 is sorely needed. For-profit detention facilities can be hell holes. in the last 6 years, the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) received over 33,000 complaints of sexual or physical assault at these facilities. Less than 1 percent of these were investigated. California has an obligation to prohibit cruel and unusual punishment for people whose only “crime” is that they don’t have papers.

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