Los Alamitos Votes to Attack Immigrants

Late on Monday evening, the City of Los Alamitos passed a resolution (4-1) declaring themselves exempt from SB 54, the California Values Act, after almost 5 hours of public testimony. SB 54 allows local police to contact ICE prior to the release of a felon or violent criminal but does not require them to do so. Law Enforcement agencies cannot be mandated to do federal immigration work at city expense and in the process erode public trust in their police. The lone dissenting vote against the Los Alamitos resolution came from the council’s only attorney who warned defending the resolution would bankrupt the city.

The city could have taken a more symbolic vote by supporting the federal lawsuit against SB 54, a suit initiated by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions on behalf of President Trump, but this was more than symbolism at play here. Los Alamitos has not had an immigration raid in at least over a decade, if ever, thus they never would have been impacted by provisions in SB-54 which begs the question of why bring up this resolution at all? The answer lies in Mayor Edgar’s comments that he had a conversation with ICE officials welcoming them to the city. Come again? Yes, in response to state law SB 54 that limits police and ICE cooperation the Mayor of Los Alamitos not only promotes and passes a resolution to exempt themselves from the law but is going out of his way to court ICE into his community. So are we saying that the second smallest city in Orange County with a population of 12,000 suddenly discovered it has an immigration problem that it needs ICE to open an office there? No. Laughably, no. The real issue is that these kinds of resolutions are very popular with the Trump base, the largest influencer within the Republican Party. Several other Orange County cities have passed similar “anti-sanctuary state” resolutions, others supporting Sessions’ law suit, and as defeat is certain for these municipalities the motivation for these fool’s errands is simply politics at play by California Republicans.

The Republican Party turned to racism and nativism as a winning “Southern” Strategy under Richard Nixon. Trump is just the end result of decades of Republican pandering to fear. Fear of blacks, fear of Mexicans, fear of Muslims, fear of Jews. One only had to hear the chants of the anti-immigrant crowd outside the city hall to suss these things out. Orange County is pinning it’s Republican political future on playing to the worst attribute in the Trump base. Not talking about rebuilding a middle class, higher wages, returning jobs from overseas, rather, talking about getting rid of “those” people. Is this the winning Trump was talking about?

One would think these municipalities consulted with their city attorneys to see the history of local agencies attempting to do the work of federal immigration officials. These laws are always stuck down. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that immigration is a matter reserved exclusively for the federal government. One would also think that local elected officials would see how many Republican seats have been lost across the nation in the past year when running on a Trump nativist platform. And one would think that California Republicans would still remember the last time in the 90’s they attempted to pass anti-immigrant law prop. 187. Yes, it passed the popular vote overwhelmingly, was ruled unconstitutional, and has prevented Republicans from attaining statewide office since. Prop. 187 mobilized the Latino vote in California and has not retreated since. These current anti-immigrant resolutions will have the same effect among a broader more diverse California population, to keep Republicans irrelevant at the state level.

As so many speakers pointed out during public commentary, the resolution isn’t about the law. How could it be? The only lawyer on the council saw the folly of the resolution and voted it down. No, It was about how you see the community. About how you see the future. But the law, humanity, and history are all against these Republican city officials who view these fights as a toehold to higher office. They are trading being on the right side of a ballot for being on the right side of history. In this case they will lose both.

UPDATE: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 – The City of Los Alamitos was sued over their “anti-sanctuary state” resolution by resident group Los Alamitos Community United and a local pastor and an attorney.


Call California Senators for SB 54 and SB 6

Two California bills would protect the immigrant community. We urge your support!

SB 54

would prohibit local police forces from helping federal authorities deport people who are in the U.S. illegally.

“(The) worst thing we want to do is in fact have police officers leave their beats, leave the communities that they are sworn to protect and serve to go on and assist ICE federal agents — to set up a perimeter around an elementary school to wait for mothers to pick up their children,” De Leon testified on Tuesday.

De Leon’s bill would also make public schools, hospitals and courthouses safe havens for California residents, regardless of immigration status.

SB 6

by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would create a state program to fund legal representation for those facing deportation. Part of the “Due Process for All” campaign, this funding ensures that people are represented in California as they face deportation proceedings. Being “civil” courts, immigration courts do not afford defendants “rights of counsel” as is the right in a criminal proceeding. Many times people in immigration courts do not understand what they are hearing, or being told to sign, and are unaware of legal avenues to adjust their status. Ensuring everyone has legal representation in deportation proceedings will help prevent families from being separated.


to support both SB 54 and SB 6 TODAY:
The following Senators need to hear from you!

Northern California
Senator Mike McGuire (Healdsburg): 916-651-4002
Senator Bill Dodd (Napa): 916-651-4003
Senator Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton): 916-651-4005
Senator Steve Glazer (Contra Costa): 916-651-4007
Central Coast
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (Santa Barbara): 916-651-4019
Southern California
Senator Ben Allen (Santa Monica): 916-651-4026
Senator Steven Bradford (Gardena): 916-651-4035
Senator Connie Leyva (Chino): 916-651-4020
Senator Tony Mendoza (Artesia): 916-651-4032
Senator Josh Newman (Fullerton): 916-651-4029
Senator Anthony Portantino (Pasadena): (916) 651-4025
Senator Richard Roth (Riverside): 916-651-4031
Senator Henry Stern (Canoga Park, Ventura): 916-651-4027
Call-in Script:
Hello, my name is _______ and I am calling from _______ (indicate city if you are a constituent) to ask Senator ________ to support an inclusive SB 6, the Due Process for All Act, and a strong SB 54, the California Values Act, which will both be voted on in the Senate floor next week. I urge the Senator be on the right side of history, not on the side of the California Sheriff’s shameful collusion with Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. Will the Senator support SB 54 and SB 6?
As we call our Senators to stay committed to the immigrant community in California, we also need to hold Sheriffs accountable for their efforts to kill this bill. Join us at community actions against Sheriff McDonnell’s opposition to SB 54.
As opposition mounts for proposals that aim to protect our communities, we need you to help lead the resistance. We cannot let Trump and his racist administration destroy our communities. Call the State Senators today, and share this email with others in your network. Together we can make these bills a reality!