Following up on the 4-0 vote by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to join a lawsuit from the Trump administration fighting the state’s “sanctuary city” laws, the Counties of San Diego and Escondido are now wading into the Sanctuary State Debate.
The County of San Diego has docketed a closed session hearing on the same issue for April 17.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is leading the effort. In an interview on KOGO AM-600 with Carl DeMaio Jacob noted, “It will be in closed session and I’m not certain we have the 3 votes necessary to pass this, but it’s important our federal law enforcement partners know that we stand with them in their efforts to keep our community safe.” The board doesn’t discuss lawsuits openly, but any decision would become a matter of public record.
Escondido Mayor Sam Abed has put the item on the April 4 agenda. In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune Abed said, “I expect it to pass.”
Senate Bill 54 prohibits state and local police agencies from notifying federal officials when they have unauthorized immigrants in their custody who could be subject to deportation.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has hailed SB-54 as the law of the land and contends state law supercedes federal enforcement. Becerra said, “State law is state law. It’s my job to enforce state law and I will do so. We want to make sure that every jurisdiction, including Orange County, understands what state law requires of the people and the subdivisions of the state of California.”
Becerra tweeted his thoughts about the Trump administration’s lawsuit:
We're not going to let the #Trump Administration coerce us into doing the federal govt's job of enforcing federal #immigration law. We're in the business of public safety, not deportation. Read about guidance we're issuing today here: https://t.co/yxiFisNZhe
— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) March 28, 2018
Sheriff’s Take Different Approaches
Clearly law enforcement jurisdictions are tackling this issue in differnt ways.
On March 26, a “Who’s in Jail” online database that includes the date and time of inmates’ release was posted by the Orange County Sheriff’s department.
The agency says the move will improve communication with its federal (ICE) law enforcement partners. Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said, “This is in response to SB-54 limiting our ability to communicate with federal authorities and our concern that criminals are being released to the street when there’s another avenue to safeguard the community by handing them over to ICE.”
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, who is running for reelection, does not think San Diego county should get involved in the administration’s lawsuit against the state’s sanctuary poliies. “I’d tell them stay out of it … that would be my recommendation,” he said in an interview Wednesday.