The U.S. Justice Department sued California over its alleged interference with federal immigration policies – and it’s gotten some support from the state’s own municipalities.
Multiple local city or county councils have voted to join the Trump administration’s lawsuit or fight the state’s policies in some way.
California’s so-called sanctuary laws limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities – a move passed by the nation’s largest state to resist increased efforts to deport people living in the country illegally and to stop President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The sanctuary policy, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature, has received some backlash at the local level.
Read on for a look at some of the cities and counties that have joined the Trump administration’s efforts to deem California’s law unconstitutional.
The Los Alamitos City Council voted 4-1 in March to opt out of California’s sanctuary law. It voted again in April to opt out as the city’s law requires the council to have a second reading of the measure before approving it.
The adopted ordinance said state laws “may be in direct conflict with federal laws and the Constitution.” It said it “finds that it is impossible to honor our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States” if it did not opt out of the policy.
Mayor Troy Edgar, a Republican, told Fox News the policy is a “huge overreach.”
Los Alamitos is able to opt out of the law because it is a charter city.
With a 3-1 vote, the Hesperia city council voted in March to join an amicus brief with the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California, the Desert Dispatch reported.
“We are not anti-immigrant — there is no one on this Council that’s anti-immigrant,” Councilman Paul Russ said, according to the newspaper. “But for immigrants, we’d like to see it done legally. I can also say without a doubt that we are anti-criminal. It’s not about the immigrants, it’s about the criminals in the community.”
With a unanimous vote of 3-0, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted in March to join the Justice Department’s lawsuit against California.
“This legislation prevents law enforcement from removing criminals from our community and is a threat to public safety,” Supervisor Shawn Nelson said.
The county previously made efforts to further comply with federal immigration authorities by publishing the release dates of inmates online.
In March, the Mission Viejo City Council voted to support the Los Alamitos City Council’s decision to opt out of the state’s sanctuary policies and join an amicus brief in support of the federal government’s lawsuit against the state.
Of the sanctuary laws, the city council said it “believes this legislation is a threat to both local control of businesses in the state and the individual liberty and public safety because it prevents law enforcement from performing their duties as necessitated by local circumstances.”
Huntington Beach City Council voted 6-1 in April to file its own lawsuit against the state of California over its sanctuary laws, calling the policies a “constitutional overreach.”
Mayor Mike Posey said his could become the first city to sue the state itself.
After a heated meeting, the Escondido City Council voted 4-1 in April to support the Justice Department’s lawsuit with a legal brief.
“This is the right thing to do. I was elected mayor to keep the Constitution, uphold the Constitution and keep our community safe,” Escondido mayor Sam Abed told Fox News. “I am committed to do that and that is what the council did today.”
The county Board of Supervisors will vote on a similar brief later in April, according to KSWB-TV.
After an assist from U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., the Fountain Valley City Council voted 3-1, with one abstention, to file an amicus brief in support of the Trump administration’s challenge to California’s law, the Orange County Register reported.
The council voted to support a legal brief after Rohrabacher offered to raise or provide the funds to do so.
The Aliso Viejo City Council voted 4-1 on April 4 to join a lawsuit against the state of California over its sanctuary laws, KCBS-TV reported.
“We had a robust discussion and I’m proud of my colleagues for their stamina and attention through 6.5 hours of testimony,” Aliso Viejo Mayor Dave Harrington said in a statement. “We did the right thing.”
After a heated meeting, the Orange City Council voted in April not to comply with the state’s sanctuary laws, KCBS-TV reported.
In a unanimous vote, the Newport Beach City Council decided to join the Trump administration’s lawsuit.
The vote, held in a closed session, allows the city to support the lawsuit, “including, but not limited to an amicus brief,” said Deputy City Manager Tara Finnigan, KCBS-TV reported.
Councilman Scott Peotter told Fox News the vote wasn’t about immigration but “illegal alien criminals.”
In April, the Westminster City Council voted 3-1 to join the Trump administration’s lawsuit against the state, KABC-TV reported.
San Juan Capistrano
The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted 4-1 to condemn California’s sanctuary laws, the Orange County Register reported.
Mayor Sergio Farias, who voted against it, said that he is the “mayor of everyone who calls San Juan Capistrano home, regardless of their legal status.”
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj, Lukas Mikelionis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.