The Aliso Viejo City Council Wednesday evening will consider joining Orange County and several other cities challenging California’s so-called sanctuary state legislation prohibiting law enforcement from fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Aliso Viejo Mayor Dave Harrington said the council will discuss whether to file an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the state or to try to join the lawsuit as the county voted to do last month.

City councils in Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo voted to support the county’s efforts while the Los Alamitos City Council took a vote to “opt out” of the state law.

Harrington said that unlike Los Alamitos, which is a charter city, Aliso Viejo is a “general law” city, so it cannot simply ignore state law.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions announced a lawsuit last month challenging portions of the California Values Act, which prevents local law enforcement officials throughout the state from asking suspects about their immigration status. It also prohibits local law enforcement from holding undocumented immigrants in jails until federal authorities can pick them up.

Advocates say the law does not prevent sheriff’s deputies from giving immigration authorities access to jails to question inmates. They also contend local law enforcement officials can still cooperate with the deportation of inmates being held for a list of serious offenses.

Harrington said state law cannot trump federal legislation.

“I believe in the Constitution. I swear to uphold the Constitution every time I take the oath,” Harrington said. “And when there’s a conflict between federal and state law, which I think is the case here, the supremacy clause is pretty clear — the federal law takes precedence.”

The mayor also said he was concerned that suspects will be released from jail wrongly or prematurely.

“This is about letting criminals out of jail who shouldn’t be let out of jail,” Harrington said.

Harrington noted that officials in Arizona “got it handed to them by the Supreme Court” when authorities there tried to enforce immigration law. The California Values Act is “the other side of the coin,” he added.

“In this case it’s exactly the opposition — our state is saying you cannot cooperate” with federal authorities, Harrington said.

The council on Wednesday will also consider a resolution calling on federal lawmakers to fix the immigration system, Harrington said.

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