By Avery Bissett.
A cadre of California politicians spoke last week with President Donald Trump at an immigration round table, with discussions centered on resistance to California’s so-called “sanctuary policies.”
The meeting was the latest development in an ongoing battle between California and the Trump administration over its sanctuary policies. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state earlier this year and the disagreement is expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court.
The main law in question, Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, prohibits local law enforcement from diverting resources to assist federal immigration authorities and detaining citizens past their normal detention at ICE’s request. It’s backed by other laws, such as one that requires private companies to warn employees in advance of immigration inspections.
Since the announcement of the federal lawsuit, many municipalities, such as Orange County and the city of Los Alamitos, have expressed their opposition to sanctuary policies and tossed their weight behind the lawsuit.
Among those in attendance at the meeting: mayors from Los Alamitos, Barstow, San Jacinto and Escondido, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (CA-67), El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini, and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel. On the federal side, Department of Justice Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of ICE Thomas Homan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
While supporters argue that the legislation makes the public safer by improving trust between police and immigrant communities, many in attendance pointed to public safety concerns as the reason for their opposition to sanctuary laws.
“When Jerry Brown cares more about illegal criminals than he cares about the Hispanic community and the American citizens, this is insanity, and this is unconstitutional,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed. “This is personal to me. I’m going to work hard to make sure our community is safe.”
In response to the meeting, Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted that the president “is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA. Flying a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed.”