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County of San Diego Poised To Join Sanctuary City Lawsuit

by Jeff Powers, published

The County of San Diego appears to be on the verge of joining other local governments in California and their Sanctuary City lawsuit.

At a rally Monday, community leaders, activists and political candidates urged the county to join the effort already taken by at least a dozen other local governments. The lawsuit says no to SB-54, the bill Sacramento passed which limits cooperation between federal immigration agents and local law enforcement and provides protection to unauthorized immigrants in public schools, libraries and medical centers.

Two weeks ago, the City of Escondido voted to join the lawsuit. That city's mayor Sam Abed spoke at today's rally, "I swore to defend the constitution and to keep my community safe and opposing SB-54 is at the core of my mission personally and for my city."

The County of San Diego will take up the issue Tuesday in closed session. Sources have told IVN San Diego that the county has the three votes needed to join the lawsuit. It's expected conservative leaning Supervisors Dianne Jacob, Bill Horn and Kristin Gaspar are going to vote in the affirmative.

The County of San Diego currently has 3.3 million people and would join Orange County as the largest communities to join the suit.  Orange County represents 3.2 million people.

PPIC Statewide Poll

A recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California asked respondents to consider one aspect of this debate, children and schools.

The question might be a window into just how state officials will combat the growing outrage by city's and counties over SB-54.

The question asked: Do you favor or oppose your public school district designating itself as a sanctuary 'safe zone' to indicate it will protect its undocumented students and their families from federal immigration enforcement efforts?

The results:

Dem 88% favor

Rep 17% favor

Ind 55% favor

How Did We Get Here?

Illegal immigration has been a hot topic across the country since President Trump campaigned in 2016 on promises of tougher enforcement and a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Although immigration has been an issue in California long before the president campaigned on the issue. The state passed a measure backed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in the 1990s to deny public health care and education to immigrants in the country illegally. The bill was overturned but in the nasty two-party partisan divide in California, it has served as a morality wedge in the conversation, essentially the GOP are perceived as the "bad guys," the Dems being the "good guys," and independents are the "sensible" voting bloc both parties are clamoring for.

In recent years, California Republicans have taken a less strident approach to immigration in a state where one in four people are foreign-born. But the Trump administration lawsuit has energized many in a party that has been rendered nearly irrelevant at the state level, where Democrats control every key office.

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