San Diego

Carlsbad City Council Votes to Support Trump Administration Lawsuit Targeting State's Sanctuary Laws

State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 54 in 2017, setting limits on how much local police can help federal immigration authorities

Carlsbad has just become the latest city to revolt against California's so-called "sanctuary state" laws.

In a special meeting Monday night, council members voted 4 to 1 to support the Trump Administration's lawsuit against the California Values Act. Councilmember Cori Schumacher was the dissenting vote.

State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 54 in 2017, setting limits on how much local police can help federal immigration authorities. 

Since the law took effect on January 1, several municipalities across the state have publicly protested the law including San Diego County and Escondido.

In Carlsbad, the decision received mixed reaction from residents.

“Not to comply with the suit is unreasonable and an immoral mandate,” said U.S. Marine veteran Glenn Bernard.

“I’m embarrassed for our city. Deeply, deeply saddened for my Latino friends,” said Linda Breen.

Breen is among a group of people who believe the California Values Act and other laws enacted last year protect hardworking families, and allow some illegal immigrants to feel more comfortable tipping-off law enforcement to crimes.

“If all the people that live in the city trust in police to be on their side rather than reporting against them and oppressing them, I think the police are safer and it’s easier for them to do their real job which is not enforcing immigration,” said Breen.

But the White House says California is overstepping its rights in blocking federal immigration laws from being enforced.

Mayor Pro Tem Keith Blackburn is worried state laws impede communication between law enforcement agencies.

“When communication between law enforcement and federal law and federal law enforcement are interfered with at the peril of our residents, that’s my concern,” Blackburn said.

Councilwoman Cori Schumacher noted there are dozens of misdemeanors and felony criminal acts that allow local and federal agencies to communicate.

Carlsbad will have to wait until a pending case reaches the appellate level to join the federal government's lawsuit. That could take at least a year.

In the meantime, within the next month, the council is scheduled to approve a resolution supporting the federal government’s lawsuit.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to join the lawsuit in April, and the San Diego City Council voted last week to join an amicus brief opposing the Trump administration’s lawsuit.

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