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Calif. city approves ordinance against sanctuary policy

The city said that the federal government, not the state, has authority when it comes to immigration


In this March 27, 2018, file photo, David Hernandez, left, Genevieve Peters, center, and Jennifer Martinez celebrate after the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to join the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the State of California’s sanctuary cities law (SB54) during their meeting in Santa Ana, Calif.

Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP, File

By Police1 Staff

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — A California city has voted to declare itself exempt from the state’s sanctuary law.

On Monday, the Los Alamitos City Council voted 4-1 to give its final approval of the ordinance and exempt the city from the law on grounds that it’s unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports. The city said that the federal government, not the state, has authority when it comes to immigration.

Los Alamitos is the only city in the state that has passed this type of ordinance. Demonstrators on both side made their voices heard when the council began hearing public comments on the ordinance.

Two dozen officers in the city and other nearby departments were able to keep minor skirmishes from escalating as tensions grew between demonstrators. Mayor Troy Edgar said he spoke with a local ICE representative and told him he would welcome the agency.

“We would love to host you,” he said.

The council gave its initial approval of the ordinance last month. Supervisor Shawn Nelson said in March that California’s sanctuary law “prevents law enforcement from removing criminals from our community and is a threat to public safety.”

Councilman Mark Chirco, an attorney who was the lone person who opposed the ordinance, said that the legislation is divisive, ineffective and unnecessary, according to the Orange County Register. He added that any costs associated with defending any lawsuit against the city “would bankrupt our city.”

The ACLU of Southern California told the council that it will file a lawsuit over the measure.