California county considers fighting state's immigrant 'sanctuary' law

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The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, March 27 to join a Trump administration lawsuit against California's controversial sanctuary law.

On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which also opposes the sanctuary state law, followed suit by adding inmates' release dates to the agency's "Who's in Jail" online database.

Barnes said immigration advocates misstate the nature of local law enforcement's relationship with ICE.

The move comes after other leaders in cities in Orange County, even its Sheriff's Department, voted to opt out of California's sanctuary state laws.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach praised the outcome of Orange County's preliminary vote, calling on other parts of California to oppose the "flow of the illegals".

California passed the sanctuary law previous year to try to protect immigrants from stepped-up deportations under the Trump administration.

The Democratic-leaning city sued the United States government in February, after the Justice Department sent it a letter demanding it hand over documents to prove it was complying with a federal law that requires municipalities to share information with immigration officials about inmates housed in local jails. The move evades the sanctuary law's limits on what information local authorities can share with federal immigration authorities because the information is being shared with the general public.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors during a meeting in Santa Ana, Calif., on Tuesday. The supervisors adopted a resolution on a 4-0 vote condemning the state law after hearing from people on both sides of the issue.

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"State law is state law".

"We're not talking here about law-abiding immigrants, we're talking about criminals", said Michelle Steel, a board member and immigrant herself.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and legal experts have argued that California's laws are different from Arizona's. "The people of Orange County deserve better".

The most vocal opposition in the state so far has come from Orange County, a wealthy coastal county and longtime Republican stronghold with a growing Democratic presence.

But Democratic state senator Kevin De Leon countered: "This kind of obsessive immigrant bashing is embarrassing to the county and its residents, and seems created to court the approval of a racist president and his cronies".

"The Sheriff's Department announced yesterday ... the Sheriff's Department is going to start putting every single in custody on the website", he said.

Hutchens also highlighted her department's work with federal ICE so far this year to notify the federal agency about the release of "serious offenders", which is allowed under the new state sanctuary law.

"SB 54 makes local law enforcement's job more hard and requires bureaucratic processes that could allow risky individuals to fall through the cracks of our justice system", she said.