With one city in the county attempting to opt out California’s sanctuary state law, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is now publishing the dates in which inmates will be released from custody. Additionally, other agencies in Orange County are considering challenges to California’s sanctuary state law. [Orange County Register]
Senate Bill 54, which took effect on Jan. 1, prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities and inquiring about an individual’s immigration status. Though the Trump Administration has sued California over the law, until recently, the state had not faced much resistance to its sanctuary status.
Last week, the Los Alamitos City Council voted 4-1 in favor of an ordinance declaring that SB 54 is contrary to the United States Constitution and stating that the Orange County city will comply with federal laws instead. The Los Alamitos council has yet to formally adopt the ordinance, and it is unclear how the city will implement the rule.
On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which also opposes the sanctuary state law, followed suit by adding inmates’ release dates to the agency’s “Who’s in Jail” online database. The addition to the database also includes the time at which inmates will be released from custody.
Sheriff’s officials are making available the release information for all inmates, not just ones suspected of being in the country illegally. However, the sheriff’s department stated its objective is to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
“This is in response to SB 54 limiting our ability to communicate with federal authorities and our concern that criminals are being released to the street when there’s another avenue to safeguard the community by handing them over,” Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said.
The sheriff’s department did not discuss the issue with ICE prior to placing inmates’ release dates on its website.
In addition to the sheriff’s department and Los Alamitos, other Orange County agencies are taking stands against SB 54 or considering do so. For instance, the Yorba Linda City Council decided to file an amicus brief to the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California.
Likewise, on Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will consider various possible measures challenging SB 54, ranging from adopting a resolution to suing the state.