The city council of Santa Clarita, California, voted to join the federal lawsuit against the state’s sanctuary city law. The suit has been joined by several Orange County cities, as well as the county government itself. Santa Clarita is the first city in Los Angeles County to challenge the law.
The suit looks to allow city governments to opt out of SB 54, which limits cooperation by local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities.
The council chamber was packed Tuesday night, with people standing in aisles and doorways and spilling out into an overflow room as approximately 200 had signed up to speak. Many wore red “Make America Great Again” caps. Some snacked on popcorn while others cooled themselves with fans.
Some said SB 54, which limits cooperation by local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities, would promote criminality, while others said it would make communities safer. Some cited legal explanations for why the law violates the Constitution, while others argued that California was within its rights.
“I don’t understand. When these people have committed a crime … why can’t one agency be able to call another agency?” Annette Burns said.
“California has overreached,” Susan Agnes, a resident and mother of two, said.
The atmosphere was often tense, punctuated by moments of levity. Audience members repeatedly heckled and booed one another, prompting reprimands from Mayor Laurene Weste — including a brief lesson on the 1st Amendment. Some yelled “Line cutter,” “No signs” or “Time!” to enforce the rules. At one point, the audio cut out and someone shouted, “Russians!”
More often than not, statements veered into the broader immigration debate and the symbolism of the resolution. By 9:30 p.m., about 100 people were still in line to speak.
“I consider myself a patriot,” said Alex Reza, a Newhall resident and veteran. “I also consider myself a person who appreciates the tremendous contributions of immigrants, both documented and undocumented.
“By opposing SB 54, you are sending a loud message to Latino communities that [Santa Clarita] is not a family-friendly city,” he continued.
I appreciate the contributions of immigrants too, including my grandfather and grandmother who came to this country from Ireland late in the 19th century. But why is it so difficult for people to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants? Are people so brainwashed by the media and liberals to think of all immigrants as being equal that they fail to see that crimes committed by illegal aliens — including rape, murder, and other violent crimes — don’t have to happen at all if we simply get control of our borders?
Maybe it’s because I’m older but I can remember when even liberal Democrats opposed illegal immigration. The simple commonsense notion that we deport illegals who commit crimes is the absolute least we can do to help ensure the safety of our communities and uphold the law.