City council members in a small Southern California town have voted to exempt themselves from the state’s so-called sanctuary immigration laws.
The Los Alamitos City Council voted 4-1 in favor of cooperating with federal officials who want to deport more immigrants out of their city.
Los Alamitos is the first California jurisdiction to vote to drop its sanctuary status, according to CBS News in Los Angeles.
But the vote is pretty symbolic because Los Alamitos doesn’t have a large population of anyone. It’s Orange County’s second-smallest city, with a population of just over 11,000 residents—most of whom are white, according to the latest Census data.
Even more bafflingly, Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar went on the Fox Business Network on Monday to explain that the city doesn’t have an “illegal alien crime problem” and that his police department hasn’t complained about the state’s sanctuary policy.
“I would say we don’t have a significant amount of crime problems with illegal immigrants,” Edgar said, adding, “For us, this is a constitutional issue that we’re looking at.”
The legality of the initiative in Los Alamitos is unclear, including to city officials, who seem to not have thought this all the way through. “Is it going to hold up? I don’t know,” Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto told The Los Angeles Times.
Councilman Mark A. Chirco was the only city official to vote against the proposal because it could “expose the city to litigation,” according to the Times.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office has not weighed in yet. Splinter has reached out for comment and will update if we hear back.
While the Los Alamitos City Council’s vote on sanctuary policies may not impact too many immigrants, the danger is it could inspire other city councils in cities that do have large immigrant populations to propose similar legislation.
Edgar also told Fox Business that he knew of other mayors in California who “don’t want to be a part of” the state’s sanctuary policies. But he did not name any of them.
The city council also voted in favor of ordering the city attorney to write an amicus brief in support of a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month against California’s statewide sanctuary laws, according to the Orange County Register.
The Los Alamitos City Council will have to vote again on April 16 before their sanctuary decision becomes law. The California state attorney general will probably have something to say then.