The little town of Los Alamitos, CA has unwittily started a new revolution in the state after signing an ordinance to opt out of California’s sanctuary status. Now several other cities and at least one county are considering doing the same.
“It’s such an overreach by the state,” said Troy Edgar, mayor of the small city of 12,000 residents.
Since Los Alamitos approved the ordinance earlier this week, the cities of Aliso Viejo and Buena Park, as well as Orange County, have suggested they might do the same.
As Fox News reported, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel said she planned to take a similar ordinance to the Board of Supervisors:
“I thank the City of Los Alamitos for standing up for its citizens and rejecting the so-called ‘sanctuary’ legislation passed in Sacramento, and I urge the County of Orange and all of our cities to do the same.”
Beth Swift, councilwoman for Buena Park, said she plans to request a discussion on opting out at the next council meeting as did the mayor of Aliso Viejo, Dave Harrington. “It is a great thing what they did,” Harrington told the Orange County Register. “I think they were spot-on, that we take the oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States.”
However, opting out of the state-enforced status may not be so simple. “State law is not a recommendation,” said Emi MacLean, staff attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “It is not optional.”
Apparently, federal law is just a recommendation and opting out is optional. At least according to California and other cities across the nation that have chosen to ignore federal law and become sanctuary cities.
“First and foremost from a constitutional prospective, I have no reason I can understand why the state would step in and want to take over immigration which is clearly a job for the federal government,” Mayor Edgar said in a Fox News interview.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf caused an uproar when she decided to warn illegal immigrant felons of an ICE raid. Since then, the Department of Justice is considering pressing charges against her, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the state and announced a law suit that had just been filed against the sanctuary status that prevents state and local law enforcement from aiding federal officers in immigration control.
“It’s amazing to me how irresponsible that is,” Edgar said of the Oakland mayor. “If the mayor of a city is not going to step up and try and keep their people safe, then what about all the people that those people affect? That’s the people that we were elected to protect.”
Edgar said “real people” visit city council members daily with concerns and comments regarding immigration control. They’re not able to thank border control officials directly, he said, but “clearly Mayor Schaaf is completely out of touch with her residents.”
The Los Alamitos city council will still need to pass the opt-out ordinance again in 30 days and cities around the state are keeping a close eye on what happens next. California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León, the author of the sanctuary state bill, warns that the state is not violating any laws and cities and counties who go against the state may find themselves sued.
The Los Alamitos Council’s “symbolic vote in favor of President Trump’s racist immigration enforcement policies is disappointing,” de León said.
Still, it is gratifying to see cities and counties willing to finally stand up against a state that has had too much control and has caused such damage.