WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) – Westminster Wednesday became the tenth Orange County city to come out in opposition to California’s controversial sanctuary state laws.
By a 3-1 margin, the Westminster City Council voted to support a lawsuit being brought by Huntington Beach against the laws, the Orange County Register reports.
The laws protect undocumented immigrants by limiting the cooperation between local police and ICE agents.
This comes after the city councils for Newport Beach and Orange passed similar votes Tuesday. The Newport Beach City Council voted 7-0 to support the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the sanctuary state laws, while the city of Orange voted 3-2 to stop complying with California Senate Bill 54.
On March 19, Los Alamitos became the first O.C. city to challenge the state laws, when its council voted to “opt out” of the sanctuary state status, which city officials said is legal because it is a charter city.
On April 2, the Huntington Beach City Council voted to sue the state over the laws.
Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley, San Juan Capistrano and Yorba Linda are the other cities that have followed suit, either opting out of the laws or joining the federal government in suing California. Several cities are attaching amicus briefs to the federal government’s lawsuit.
Orange County supervisors also voted to join the lawsuit.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has expressed his support for the growing opposition to the laws, tweeting in March that his “Administration stands in solidarity with the brave citizens in Orange County defending their rights against California’s illegal and unconstitutional Sanctuary policies.”
Also last month, the O.C. Sheriff’s Department, whose leadership opposes the sanctuary laws, announced it was now providing public information on when inmates are released from custody. An existing “Who’s in Jail” online database includes the date and time of inmates’ release, a move agency officials say will enhance communication with its law enforcement partners.
The release date information applies to all inmates, not just those who are suspected of being in the country illegally. But OCSD made it clear the goal is to assist ICE agents.
Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 54, the sanctuary state legislation that extends protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
The bill took effect Jan. 1. Under it, police are barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement activities. Jail officials are only allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of certain crimes.
In early March, the Justice Department sued the state of California, Governor Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging California’s three sanctuary state laws (Senate Bill 54, Assembly Bill 450, Assembly Bill 103) interfere with federal immigration activities and “intentionally obstruct and discriminate” against the enforcement of federal immigration law.
Speaking in Sacramento the day after the lawsuit was announced, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed the laws are unconstitutional and a “plain violation of common sense.”
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