The Department of Justice is already suing California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Now, some small California cities are mounting an attack from within.
In March, the small city of Los Alamitos was the first to announce that they would put their commitment to federal law over state regulations, drafting an ordinance that would let them opt out of state-level sanctuary laws. Emboldened, other cities in Orange and San Diego Counties are drafting exemption ordinances of their own. They’re the conservative mirror to the wave of liberal sanctuary cities like West Palm Beach, Fla., and Dallas County, Tex., that have pushed back against their conservative home state’s strict immigration enforcement.
In a late-night vote Monday, April 2, the Huntington Beach City Council decided 6-1 to file a lawsuit against California challenging the legality of the state’s so-called sanctuary law.
Prior to the vote, more than 100 people spoke passionately about undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities. A majority of the audience dressed in Make America Great Again memorabilia and chanted “USA, USA, USA.” Many draped American flags on their backs and held signs with messages such as “Build wall, deport them all” and “We love President Trump.”
Huntington Beach joins a wave of opposition in Orange County to California’s “sanctuary state” laws, such as Senate Bill 54, which in many cases prohibits state and local police agencies from notifying federal officials when immigrants in their custody who may be subject to deportation are about to be released.
Several area cities have pushed against the sanctuary laws, starting in March, when the Los Alamitos City Council passed an ordinance opting out.