The Santa Clarita City Council needs to step back and do some research on the request by Councilman Bob Kellar for the city to declare itself a non-sanctuary city.
Step away from the politics and find out if this would be a prudent move for the city.
Would it be financially risky and most important of all—what do the citizens think?
Senate Bill 54 took effect Jan. 1. It limits cooperation between California law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.
It, in effect, makes California a sanctuary state from enforcement of illegal immigration.
Kellar wants Santa Clarita to consider exempting itself from the law as city leaders in Los Alamitos did earlier this month.
Whether one thinks that California’s sanctuary city law is a good thing or not should not enter into the discussion of this issue.
Our city leaders, who we elect to protect the city in all matters, should be looking at all sides of the issue.
What is the financial risk to the city if it is sued after declaring itself a non-sanctuary city?
Also as Councilman Cameron Smyth points out, the city contracts its law enforcement with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
How will that affect the actual implementation of a non-sanctuary policy?
Will the Sheriff’s Department, which covers other contract cities and large areas of the county, be able to treat Santa Clarita differently?
And, again, what do the citizens think about the sanctuary law?
Much more research is needed by city staff on the legal ramifications of breaking from the state law. And much more homework needs to be done by all the City Council members on the issue.
Homework in the sense of taking the pulse of the community as a whole on the matter not just certain interest groups. They need to talk to their constituents about it and see how they feel.
Immigration law is a federal matter and the fact that California broke from that tradition was truly a drastic action that doesn’t sit well with some people. But, each city in the state needs to deal with the reality of the state law and act prudently if they want to revolt from that law.
We urge our city leaders to limit any rhetoric they may be inclined to engage in on the issue and instead spend their time studying it.