The city council of Los Alamitos, California, in Orange County, voted 4-1 Monday night for an ordinance to defy the state’s new “sanctuary state” law, and to assist federal law enforcement in stopping illegal immigration.
As Breitbart News reported Sunday, the city took on SB 54, the so-called “California Values Act,” which constrains state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice is challenging SB 54 as one of three “sanctuary state” laws that, it claims, violate the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
Members of the city council were concerned that SB 54 required them to violate their oaths of office, which require them to uphold and defend the Constitution. Although legal experts say that there is a chance SB 54 will survive in the courts — since unlike the other two law it merely requires state and local government not to assist federal law enforcement, while the other two laws interfere with federal authority — city council members were still concerned,
The Orange County Register notes that the city council debate on Monday evening was intense on both sides:
While the crowd had dwindled both in and outside the chamber when the vote came, people erupted in cheers after the vote and began chanting “USA.” But on the pro-immigrant rights side, there was this chant: “The people united, will never be divided.”
Someone shouted out to Councilman Warren Kusumoto, who introduced the legislation, “great American patriot!” while someone else screamed out “America first.”
Throughout the night, many in the crowd of more than 150 people from Los Alamitos, Long Beach and other communities engaged in heated debate – sometimes in front of the dais, other times with each other.
Separately, Register also reported that Kusumoto was particularly concerned that SB 54 would require him to disobey the Constitution: “California legislators are bulling local elected officials into violating our oath of office,” he said.
The council also voted to direct the city attorney of Los Alamitos — the county’s second-smallest city — to prepare an amicus brief on the side of the Department of Justice in its case against the State of California.