The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state of California for its sanctuary city laws that would not coincide with federal immigration policies.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted on March 28 to support the lawsuit, also condemning a provision in SB-54, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2017, which prohibits local authorities from disclosing immigration statuses to federal immigration enforcement.
However, cities within the county haven’t been so aligned as to where they stand.
Cities supporting the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit
After a six hour discussion, the Aliso Viejo city council decided in a 4-1 vote on April 4 to file an a non-litigious brief in support of the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
The council also approved a resolution to “support the rule of law” and demand Congress to reform its immigration law.
Dana Point voted 3-2 on April 17 to support Los Alamitos’ self-exemption from state sanctuary laws, effectively supporting the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
Fountain Valley city council voted 3-1 with one abstention on April 3 to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
While standing behind the Justice Dept. lawsuit, the Huntington Beach city council decided in a 6-1 vote on April 2 to file its own lawsuit, making it the only city in the county to do so.
On April 17, the Laguna Niguel City Council voted unanimously to condemn SB-54, and to file a non-litigious brief challenging the constitutionality of the law, essentially supporting the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
The Lake Forest city council voted unanimously to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit on April 17.
The Los Alamitos city council voted 4-1 on April 16 in favor of an ordinance exempting the city from the state law.
Mission Viejo voted unanimously to file an non-litigious brief supporting the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit on March 27.
Newport Beach voted 7-0 in an April 10 closed session to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
The Orange city council supported the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit in a 3-2 vote on April 10.
San Juan Capistrano
The city of San Juan Capistrano voted 4-1 on April 3 to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
After a long evening with more than 80 public speakers arguing their stances, the Westminster city council voted on April 11 to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit.
The Yorba Linda city council voted 4-0 on March 20 to support the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit, with Councilwoman Peggy Huang abstaining due to her position with the Office of the Attorney General.
Cities against the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit
Santa Ana, currently a sanctuary city, voted in an April 3 meeting to file a “friend of the court” brief in support of California and its sanctuary laws.
In contrast to the meetings of other cities on the issue, the Santa Ana city council meeting heard only a few public comments.
Cities that have not taken an official stance
Fullerton city council voted on April 4 not to take a stance on the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit against California’s sanctuary city laws, after hours of public comments and back and forth by deliberating council members.
While the city of Anaheim has yet to announce its support or opposition to the U.S. Justice Dept.’s lawsuit, the council voted 6-1 on becoming a “welcoming city,” to immigrants in October 2017, when efforts were underway to tighten immigration laws and repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
According to the OC Register, the city of Buena Park plans to push for several versions of the anti-sanctuary ordinance but has not made a final decision.
Laguna Beach heard public comment on April 10 but has not taken action yet.
Costa Mesa has not made a decision on sanctuary laws, though city officials told the LA Times that they want to study its possible effects.
No action has been taken yet by the Garden Grove city council regarding the lawsuit.
The city did vote in 2017 to become a “harmony city,” as a symbolic gesture to residents regarding their interactions with law enforcement.
The issue of sanctuary cities was brought up by La Habra resident Indigo Brude during the public comment section of a Jan. 17 La Habra city council meeting.
Then-Mayor Rose Espinoza told Brude that the city has not taken an official stance on the matter.
The issue still has not been brought before the council.
Cities that have not discussed the U.S. Justice Dept. lawsuit
Rancho Santa Margarita