Orange County votes to join Trump lawsuit against California

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted in closed session Tuesday to join the Trump Administration’s lawsuit against California over its sanctuary state law, the latest move in a wave of resistance to Senate Bill 54 coming from the Southern California county. [OC Register]

SB 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. Following the Trump Administration’s suit over the law, Orange County agencies have begun taking various measures opposing SB 54 as well.

Last week, the Los Alamitos City Council voted in favor of an ordinance declaring that SB 54 is contrary to the United States Constitution and stating that the city will comply with federal laws instead. Among other Orange County cities that oppose SB 54, Yorba Linda has decided to file an amicus brief to the Trump Administration’s lawsuit.

On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which also opposes the sanctuary state law, began a practice of publishing the dates in which inmates will be released from custody, which the agency said is intended to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors considered various possible measures opposing California’s sanctuary state law. In addition to ultimately deciding to join the Trump Administration’s lawsuit, the board of supervisors also adopted a resolution condemning SB 54.

Supervisor Michelle Steel, who introduced the resolution, delivered a statement explaining the measure.

“We cannot let the state begin cherry-picking which federal laws it decides to follow. As supervisors of this county, we all took oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and bear true faith and allegiance to it against all enemies,” Steel said.

A large crowd at the meeting split for and against the board of supervisor’s move to challenge California’s sanctuary state status. More than 60 speakers addressed the matter during public comment.

Following the meeting, State Sen. Kevin de Leon, who is currently running for U.S. Senate, responded with a statement chastising the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

“This kind of obsessive immigrant bashing is embarrassing to the county and its residents, and seems designed to court the approval of a racist president and his cronies,” de Leon said. “The county that gave us Prop 187 more than two decades ago is at it again with another unconstitutional attack on our immigrant communities. I am confident the courts will reject this challenge to SB-54, just as they roundly rejected Prop 187.”

In another contentious matter at Tuesday’s meeting, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to rescind a plan for potentially opening homeless shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel that could house up to 400 people. The Orange County board faced major backlash to the plan on Tuesday, as hundreds of residents, many of whom were bused in from Irvine, voiced their opposition to opening homeless shelters.

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