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Thread: CA - Shasta County declares itself 'no sanctuary' in narrow vote

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    CA - Shasta County declares itself 'no sanctuary' in narrow vote

    Sean Longoria, Record Searchlight Published 4:40 p.m. PT Feb. 6, 2018 | Updated 6:07 p.m. PT Feb. 6, 2018

    In a move county officials admitted lacks legal teeth and was heavily opposed even before a vote, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday narrowly signed off on a resolution declaring the county “no sanctuary” for immigrants living in the country illegally.

    Supervisors Mary Rickert, Steve Morgan and board Chair Les Baugh approved the resolution while Leonard Moty, who called the vote a “sad day for Shasta County,” and David Kehoe abstained from voting on the matter in apparent protest that the matter, first brought to the board and rejected nearly a year ago, was before them again.

    “For me, this resolution is an insult to the goodwill of our community,” Kehoe said. “I will tell you right now, I will not be a party to this form of political chicanery.”

    Senate Bill 54, commonly referred to as California's "sanctuary state" law, bars law enforcement from asking people about their immigration status and participating in federal immigration activities. Jail officials are allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities only if they have been convicted of certain crimes.

    The passage of the law prompted Tehama County and Anderson, among others, to declare themselves “non-sanctuary” jurisdictions along with pledges to help federal immigration authorities as much as the law allows.

    Anderson City Councilman Baron Browning said at Tuesday's meeting since his city passed its resolution, police there haven't assisted federal immigration agents once.

    "The Police Department does not go out and pull people over and ask 'are you documented or not?'" he said.

    Shasta County considered the matter last year and put it off indefinitely until the idea surfaced again in December after a push by Baugh, who brought forward the original discussion.

    County Counsel Rubin E. Cruse said, though, the resolution doesn’t mean Shasta County can disregard the state law.

    “The county cannot ignore or refuse to comply with SB 54. That is the law in the state of California and we have to deal with that one way or another,” Cruse said.

    Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko and District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett also said SB 54 has little impact on their operations and they’re still able to incarcerate and prosecute criminals regardless of their legal status.

    “SB 54 is not going to have an effect on how we do business,” Bridgett said.

    Still, Baugh and his peers pushed forward Tuesday’s vote with comments directed at sending a message to the state and in opposition to illegal immigration.

    “Our country has a tremendous legal path for immigrants in the United States of America. I support and will remain always supportive, with open arms, to welcome all who want to legally immigrate to the United States of America. That’s how my family got here and I’m proud of that. I do not support those who came into the country illegally and want to remain here against the force of law,” Baugh said. “The state of California has put us in a position of having to have conversations like this.”

    The board, he said, also formally opposed SB 54 before its passage in a letter sent to state lawmakers.

    “I have never been in agreement with it so this is not a rush to a decision,” Baugh said.

    Rickert said her vote was representative of her eastern Shasta County district and immigration is an issue she’s lived her whole life.

    “My husband and I employed several Hispanic families and many of them have worked for us for 20, 30 years. They’re part of my family,” she said.

    Rickert added she’s mentored an undocumented girl and helped others gain citizenship.

    “We’re all immigrants but every single one of my ancestors became citizens of this wonderful country," she said. “Another thing I hear all the time is how it divides families. We give our Hispanic workers, if they choose to, they go to Mexico for a whole month, sometimes two months, in the wintertime. I’m not afforded that opportunity, I have to stay back and work. They see their family more than I see mine.”

    Morgan reiterated the resolution in a message to Sacramento.

    "Illegal is illegal. Period. There's no other word I can say except 'lawbreaker,'" Morgan said. "We're tired of being told what we're going to do and not do."

    The vote came after more than 90 minutes of comment on the matter where 25 people, mostly in opposition to the resolution, spoke before the board.

    Ann Corrin, the first of 15 who spoke against the matter, said she believes cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement is “bad public policy” that would erode trust with law enforcement and open the county to legal action from advocacy organizations or even state officials.

    “The action of naming, through resolution, Shasta County as an anti-sanctuary county is not a viable legal action. It is only political posturing that accomplishes nothing more than to further divide our community,” Corrin said.

    The resolution will create an atmosphere of fear and would intimidate immigrant communities from speaking to law enforcement, Laurie O’Connell said. She also questioned whether recent action by federal immigration authorities would target only criminals.

    “This a movement that is accelerating and I know it is championed by many residents of this county. But it is a toxic, racist and deeply primitive response to the future that is going to be browner and as difficult as that is for some of us of paler complexions to understand and to accept, as much energy is being invested to hold back that future, it’s happening anyway,” O’Connell said. “To dig in your heels and regress to the 19th century doesn’t make any sense and it’s not going to be viewed on by our future residents as something to be proud of. It is a moment of great shame.”

    Still, 10 people at Tuesday’s meeting favored the move, citing Sacramento’s “lawlessness” and alleged disregard for the state’s residents.

    Terry Rapoza, who wore an American flag shirt to the meeting, accused Gov. Jerry Brown of acting illegally and said the federal government has authority over immigration.

    “What part of illegal immigration is legal?” Rapoza said. “Yeah things, are going to change, isn’t that great? Why is it people hate the U.S. so much and why is it that they hate the constitution?”

    Kay Wilson said she found the resolution well-written and the state law is contrary to federal law.

    “This resolution does not divide us. In fact, it makes our community feel that our representatives are supporting us, the citizens of the United States,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with an officer asking what someone’s status is.”
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  2. #2
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    May 2006
    Occasionally a smidgen of good news comes out of this state.
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