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Thread: Simi becomes first city in Ventura County to oppose California's state sanctuary laws

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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Simi becomes first city in Ventura County to oppose California's state sanctuary laws

    Mike Harris, Published 1:53 p.m. PT April 24, 2018 | Updated 2:32 p.m. PT April 24, 2018

    To the applause of many in the audience, the Simi Valley City Council this week became the first city in Ventura County to come out against California's state sanctuary laws.

    The City Council voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to file a friend of the court letter siding with the Trump administration's federal lawsuit challenging the state laws, which took effect Jan. 1.

    The council took the action in closed session. It was announced afterward in open session by City Attorney Lonnie Eldridge, sparking loud, enthusiastic applause from many in the audience.

    "I'm reporting that the City Council has approved by a unanimous vote the filing of an amicus (friend of the court) letter by the city of Simi Valley in support of the United States in the case entitled United States of America vs. state of California, et al ... to enjoin enforcement of certain provisions of California law enacted through Assembly Bill 450, Assembly Bill 103 and Senate Bill 54," Eldridge said.

    Simi Valley won't actually be a party to the lawsuit, said Eldridge, who will write the letter and file it with the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, where the suit was filed in March.

    Mike Harris
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    #SimiValley becomes the first city in #VenturaCounty to come out against #California’s #sanctuary state law. City Council unanimously votes to file friend of court brief siding with #federal lawsuit challenging the state law. Other Calif cities have also come out against law.

    8:21 PM - 23 Apr 2018

    The Trump administration's lawsuit argues the state laws are unconstitutional, violating the supremacy clause, which assures that federal law takes precedence over state law.

    Simi Valley will continue to abide by the sanctuary laws until such time they are enjoined or invalidated.

    Simi Valley is the first city in Ventura County to take a stand against the laws, but not the first in the state.

    More than a dozen Southern California cities and two counties have come out against the laws. The first to do so was the tiny Orange County city of Los Alamitos. It was followed by Orange and San Diego counties, Dana Point, Escondido, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, and other cities.

    Some have taken legal action. Huntington Beach, for instance, has voted to sue the state.

    Last year, the city of Oxnard, meanwhile, passed a "safe city" resolution, which reaffirmed a commitment from the police department to not enforce federal immigration laws. Oxnard considered using "sanctuary city" as the title of the resolution but decided against it because the city couldn't promise to offer protection to those taken into county custody.

    Simi Valley City Council members did not comment in open session on their decision to authorize the letter.

    But Councilman Mike Judge, who took the lead on the issue, asking the council to consider it a few weeks ago, said Tuesday he was proud the council voted unanimously to have Eldridge write the letter.

    "I think it's something the city can do just to say to the state of California that we thought that SB 54 was just the epitome of unlawfulness," said Judge, a Los Angeles Police Department officer. "You can't expect elected officials, first responders who swear oaths, to violate those oaths by telling them they can't cooperate with other law enforcement agencies.

    "In my opinion, it really has very little to do with immigration," Judge said. "It was just the way the state was telling people how we had to act. That police officers could be prosecuted if they assisted federal authorities. That's ridiculous."

    Councilman Keith Mashburn said Tuesday the council authorized the letter at the urging of many of its constituents.

    "We're a law and order community," said Mashburn, a retired Ventura County Fire Department battalion chief. "The thing we're most concerned with is the criminal element. And that's what we want to protect our citizens from.

    "Anything that's setting the criminal element loose in our community or making it easier for them, is something that we're against," he said.

    Simi Valley Police Chief Dave Livingstone said Tuesday his department is unaffected by the state sanctuary laws and the council's stand against them.

    "For us, as a municipal police department, we're out of the immigration business," he said. "We don't ask people what their immigration status is. We don't participate in joint operations with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). We still treat everybody who comes to us for help equally.

    "So, if you're a victim of a crime, we don't care whether you're an illegal alien or not," he said.

    Livingstone said the immigration status of every person arrested by his department is determined by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

    During public comments Monday night, a number of speakers praised the council for authorizing the letter.

    "You have become the first city in Ventura County to repudiate ... the sanctuary state," said Bruce Boyer, a foe of the state sanctuary laws, sparking more applause from audience members. "This veteran salutes you."

    Boyer is trying to run for Ventura County sheriff, but has been barred from the June ballot because he has no law enforcement experience.

    Longtime Simi Valley resident Steve Frank said he was one of those who urged the council to OK the letter.

    "I am so pleased tonight to hear that it wasn't a 3-2 vote or 4-1 vote, but it was a 5-0 vote," Frank said. "I'm proud of the fact that this city council is standing up for the safety of the citizens of Simi Valley and the many visitors we have that visit the Reagan (presidential) library and our other attractions."

    https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/lo...law/545957002/
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