Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson announced Thursday that he wants the county to either sue the state to challenge its so-called “sanctuary state” law protecting undocumented immigrants or join Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ lawsuit seeking to block portions of it.
Nelson made the proposal in response to Supervisor Michelle Steel’s advocacy for a resolution condemning the state law.
The supervisors are scheduled to discuss the proposals at the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday.
Nelson objects to the part of the law that prevents local law enforcement from informing federal immigration authorities when an undocumented immigrant has been arrested.
Nelson argues that the state law is an attempt to “regulate” federal immigration detention.
The state’s laws “are preempted by federal law,” he said. “The state has no authority to target facilities holding federal detainees pursuant to a federal contract. Also, the state cannot direct county employees to refuse to engage in basic cooperation with federal immigration authorities that is contemplated by federal law.”
Nelson added that the law “prevents law enforcement from removing criminals from our community and is a threat to public safety.”
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