Stephen Maseda: SB 54 decision

Activists assemble outside of Santa Clarita City Council chambers on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Crystal Duan/The Signal

I was unable to attend the Council meeting on May 8 and so have read with interest the letters that have followed the vote to submit an amicus brief in support of the DOJ litigation seeking to have SB 54 (the Sanctuary State law) declared unconstitutional under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The issue before the council was not what the immigration laws or immigration enforcement policies of the United States are, or should be. The sole issue before the council was whether to support the litigation brought by the DOJ seeking a determination of the constitutionality of SB 54 which admittedly attempts to thwart the United States Government’s enforcement of those laws. It was therefore not surprising that the council voted unanimously to support the litigation.

The other issue that seems to have motivated the council’s vote was the issue of local independence to determine what policy best promotes the safety of its citizens. Given that the enforcement activities of the current administration have been focused on the deportation of criminal illegal aliens, there is and has been a difference of opinion among law enforcement communities as to whether cooperation is the policy that best protects the people they serve. SB 54 essentially settles that issue and prohibits cooperation. If successful the DOJ litigation would again allow local law enforcement and government to make their own determination.

Finally, I find the arguments about being welcoming and accepting of immigrants only make sense if you see no difference between immigrants here legally and those here illegally. I fail to see how the current enforcement activities can be characterized as xenophobic. Refusing to cooperate with the deportation of illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes extends to illegal aliens a protection not extended to legal aliens, who are subject to deportation if they commit a serious crime. Perhaps an objector can explain to me why we should do so.

Stephen Maseda

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