The ACLU says it plans on suing Los Alamitos if it opts out of the state's sanctuary cities law. The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention on Tuesday after the town's City Council voted on Monday to approve such a move.
Sameer Ahmed, a staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California said the move blatantly violated the city's obligation to follow state law.
"The ACLU strongly opposes the initial vote by the city of Los Alamitos to approve an ordinance exempting the city from the California Values Act. The ordinance, if given final approval, would be a blatant violation of the city’s obligation to follow state law.
"City council members claim they want to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but their vote does the exact opposite. The state of California has every right under the Constitution to protect the safety and well-being of all of its residents, and ensure that its resources are not being used to enforce federal immigration laws that fuel mass deportations, separate families and spread fear through immigrant communities."
The vote by the city council was intended to exempt the small Southern California town from SB 54, the state's so-called 'sanctuary law' that restricts how local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration agents.
Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar said he hoped the move by Los Alamitos would be an example for other cities who want to follow suit.
SB 54 is already being challenged by the Justice Department. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently sued the state of California claiming that SB 54 and two other California laws are unconstitutional.
Los Alamitos is the first city in California to introduce legislation to exempt it from SB 54. A final vote by the council will be taken on April 16th.
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