The City of Vista is showing love for federal litigation and President Trump as it rallies against California’s “sanctuary state” laws. This week, the Vista City Council, located in Northwest San Diego County, declined to reverse an earlier decision to support a federal lawsuit brought on by the Trump administration.
The sanctuary laws, which protect illegal immigrants and attempt to stop federal ICE agents from enforcing immigration standards, have become an extremely hot topic in the Golden State. “As elected officials, I feel it’s our job to bring our community together and avoid dividing it whenever possible,” said Councilman Joe Green before continuing on to state “This … debate does nothing for our citizens other than divide us.”
SB 54, better known as the “Sanctuary State” bill, enacted in 2017, further fueled the debate. The new law essentially legalizes statewide non-cooperation policies between California law enforcement agencies and federal immigration authorities. The statute recognizes schools, libraries, courthouses and other public facilities as immigration “safe zones” and forbids local law officers from asking the immigration status of people they detain. Other details such as arresting people based on immigration warrants were also excluded.
In early March of this year the Trump administration sued California over its sanctuary law as well as other immigration policies, testifying that they are unconstitutional and interfere with federal immigration enforcement. According to the San Diego Tribune, “On June 26, Vista Councilman John Franklin asked the council to issue a letter stating that the California Values Act is inconsistent with the values of the city of Vista, and the city supports the position of the United States Department of Justice in the litigation.” Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is no longer accepting applications to join the lawsuit through an amicus brief, the Vista City Council casted a decision with a 2-1-1 vote in which they intend to submit a letter in support of the litigation to the court which is hearing the federal case.
On August 1st, 2018 the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Trump administration could not withhold money to certain cities based on their sactuary immigration polices. Despite this, the Vista City Council holds this ruling to be inconsistent with its values and it will continue to cooperate with the federal government over immigration issues.
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