Orange County City Cements Opposition to California Sanctuary Laws

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

A city council in Orange County reaffirmed its opposition to California’s so-called sanctuary laws Monday, voting for the second time to opt out of the controversial policies.

The Los Alamitos City Council voted 4-1 to exempt the city from a law prohibiting state and local police from notifying federal authorities when illegal immigrants facing deportation are released from detention.

The second vote, which occurred after a contentious five-hour comment period, was required to officially approve the measure.

The council’s one dissenting member, Mark Chirco, argued that the city lacked the authority to refuse cooperation with state law and said the move would open the city up to costly legal challenges.

The ACLU, which previously threatened to sue if the ordinance passed, condemned it as “a blatant violation of the city’s obligation to follow a state law that puts our local resources to use for the safety of our communities rather than toward federal immigration agencies,” in a tweet sent after the vote.

Raucous protests drew hundreds of people outside city hall during the vote, requiring local police to break up a number of skirmishes, according to the Orange County Register.

Though Los Alamitos is the first Southern California city to pass such an ordinance, a number of nearby municipalities have voiced opposition to the sanctuary laws and are considering similar measures.

The San Diego County Board will vote Tuesday on whether to join the Trump administration’s ongoing legal challenge to the sanctuary laws.

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