By Drew Gregory Lynch.
The city of Los Alamitos on Monday night approved an ordinance to opt out of California’s controversial “sanctuary state” law, in the boldest act of defiance yet by a municipality against Sacramento.
“It is impossible to comply with both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California,” a Los Alamitos city agenda report spearheaded by councilman Warren Kusumoto reads. “In this situation, my belief is that the Constitution of the United States has precedence over the Constitution of the State of California.”
Los Alamitos officials voted 4 to 1 to approve the ordinance. However, it will not be officially voted on until April 16.
“We are declaring sanctuary from California’s sanctuary law,” Kusumoto, who introduced the legislation, told Neil Cavuto on Fox News ahead of the vote.
The proposal was met with much controversy, as Monday’s meeting saw a line of residents out the door to try and get in. It was divided between supporters of President Trump and a hardline immigration agenda and others aligned with immigration rights activists, expressing their outrage at the measure.
Dozens took to the podium to address the council in support and opposition against the move.
“Keep the pressure up & urge the Los Alamitos City Council to do the right thing. Call, email, attend meetings, rally – your activism is need now more than ever,” the ACLU of Southern California swiftly tweeted following the evening meeting.
Supporters of the measure argue that the California law is unconstitutional because it subverts federal law in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause.
Now, a small Orange County city of around 12,000 residents finds itself at the center of a larger conversation about immigration policies in not just the Golden State – but across the U.S.
Under Senate Bill 54, passed late last year, local law enforcement is prohibited from inquiring as to a person’s immigration status, detaining suspected illegal immigrants for ICE, and from acting as federal immigration agents.
Conservatives and many law enforcement groups argue that “sanctuaries” provide a safe haven for violent criminal aliens, while liberals and immigration activists argue such jurisdictions encourage undocumented aliens to cooperate with police without fear of deportation.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against California over its defiance of federal immigration enforcement efforts, intensifying the battle between Washington and the state, which has centered itself as the flashpoint in fights over the Trump agenda.
But with its actions on Monday, Los Alamitos appears to be positioning itself as the “resistance” to the “resistance.”