The Beaumont City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday evening to approve a resolution asserting that California’s so-called “sanctuary state” law is incompatible with federal law and, therefore, illegitimate.
Beaumont is the first Inland Empire municipality to oppose Senate Bill 54, the “California Values Act,” joining Orange County and a number of its cities in challenging the statute’s validity.
San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors approved a similar resolution Tuesday. Orange County recently passed its own, with the supervisors voting to join a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit filed against California last month seeking to invalidate SB 54, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions compared to an act of “secession” from federal jurisdiction.
Orange County cities that have passed resolutions backing the lawsuit include Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange and San Juan Capistrano.
Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, who authored SB 54 and is now running for the U.S. Senate, has been stumping against surging opposition to the bill, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Oct 5.
De Leon argued in literature attached to SB 54 that “65-75 percent of all deportations nationwide are the result of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and Immigration Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection,” and the practice must be stopped to prevent the “devastating impact deportations have” on undocumented immigrants and their families.
Most components of the legislation were opposed by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, which voiced concerns about the ability of law enforcement officers to apprehend criminal immigrant offenders and coordinate with federal agents to ensure that they face prosecution.
SB 54 makes it illegal for county or municipal peace officers to do any of the following:
— ask about an arrestee’s immigration status;
— honor a federal immigration hold request or detainer, unless it’s specifically authorized by a judge;
— arrest a person based on a civil immigration warrant;
— notify federal authorities about the pending release of a jailed illegal immigrant, with a couple of exceptions based on criminal history;
— participate in task forces that target illegal immigrant offenders; and
— utilize immigration officers as interpreters during local interactions with suspects.
SB 54 also mandates that schools, health facilities, libraries and courthouses serve as “safe zones,” where undocumented immigrants can come and go without risk of detention.
SB 54 was an expansion of Assembly Bill 4, the so-called “Trust Act” of 2013, which prohibits honoring federal detainer requests, specifically for foreigners arrested or suspected of minor offenses.
The city councils of Loma Linda, Redlands and Yucaipa may be considering anti-SB 54 resolutions of their own soon.