Days after a city in Orange County, California voted to sue the state over its “sanctuary” law, another Orange County city decided to do the opposite.
Members of the Santa Ana City Council decided on Tuesday to support the state immigration law, SB 54, which took effect in January and prevents local law enforcement officials from turning over suspected undocumented immigrants in their custody to federal immigration agents.
The Santa Ana City Council voted to file a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of the state of California, which is currently being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice over the sanctuary law. Last week, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to join the DOJ lawsuit.
According to Orange County Register reporter Alicia Robinson, Santa Ana Councilman Vincente Sarmiento said Tuesday that the Constitution’s 10th amendment, which states that the federal government only has the powers that are granted by the Constitution, guarantees Santa Ana’s “right ‘not to be coerced’ to enforce federal immigration laws.”
Santa Ana Cclman David Benavides announces he & Cclman Sarmiento will intro agenda item tonight to file ‘friend of the court’ brief siding with state on sanctuary law pic.twitter.com/kdmMeFEZ8c
— Alicia Robinson (@ARobWriter) April 3, 2018
Orange County cities Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach have also recently been caught up in disputes over the state’s sanctuary law. Last month, Los Alamitos City Council voted to exempt itself from the law. And earlier this week, Huntington Beach City Council moved to sue the state over the law.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter last week to express support for cities in Orange County who have pushed back against the state’s sanctuary law, saying “My Administration stands in solidarity with the brave citizens in Orange County defending their rights against California’s illegal and unconstitutional Sanctuary policies.”
My Administration stands in solidarity with the brave citizens in Orange County defending their rights against California's illegal and unconstitutional Sanctuary policies. California's Sanctuary laws….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides on Tuesday lamented the fact that “local electeds, municipalities in Orange County have chosen to adopt [Trump’s] anti-immigrant sentiment.”
But that anti-immigrant sentiment has been brewing in Orange County for decades. In the 1990s, the county was a leader in supporting the infamous “Save Our State” proposal, or Proposition 187, which sought to deny undocumented immigrants access to social services before it was struck down.
While Orange County has long been known for being mostly white and Republican, those statistics are no longer accurate. Recent census data found that 35 percent of the county’s population is Hispanic and almost 20 percent are Asian. This reality is not, however, reflected in all neighborhoods, many of which are segregated. A 2016 study by the University of California at Los Angeles’ Institute of American Cultures found that racism plays a key role in fueling that segregation.