Los Alamitos, CA – The Los Alamitos City Council voted to opt out of California’s Sanctuary State law last Monday night, and said they would not be bullied by elected leaders in Sacramento (video below).
“I feel that Sacramento, the elected leaders up there, are bullying us into violation of the oath of office that we took,” Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto, who wrote the city ordinance, told KABC.
The ordinance, which was passed on a 4 to 1 vote, noted that it was not possible for the city council to simultaneously comply with both the sanctuary state law and the U.S. constitution. Consequently, the city opted to follow the parameters outlined by the federal government.
“It’s not political,” Kusumoto said. “We are a charter city. If the state can ignore federal law, then by the same token, our city should be able to ignore state law.”
The city’s leaders said they also wanted to support citizens in their community who work for the federal government, such as those at the Joint Forces Training Base.
“We really don’t believe in the sanctuary bill, and we would like to take a position to state our case and make it clear to our residents where we stand,” Mayor Troy Edgar told KABC.
Citizens spoke on both sides of the issue at the meeting, but one of the most compelling arguments was made by a legal immigrant.
“I’m hoping and praying that this is the first city, and I’m hoping and praying that other cities will wake up, and put the American people first,” the woman told the council.
“We need to put the American people first. It has nothing to do with color. I’m brown. I’m from El Salvador. It has nothing to do with immigration. It has to do with legal, and illegal,” she said.
Councilman Mark Chirco, who voted against the ordinance, said that passing the law would result in the city being sued, according to the Orange County Register.
Los Alamitos immediately received pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which threatened to pursue legal action against the city if they followed through with their legally adopted ordinance.
“They must follow state law, and I’m very disappointed they’re sending a message to immigrant communities that they want to be part of Trump’s deportation dragnet,” ACLU spokesperson Cynthia Valencia told KABC.
California residents who oppose the sanctuary state law traveled from other cities and counties to attend the debate, and said they hoped other communities would follow suit by creating their own ordinances.
A second vote, during which the ordinance would officially become law, has been scheduled for April 16.
Watch clips of the citizens’ debate in the video below: