President Donald Trump wants some elected leaders from Southern California who have pushed against the states sanctuary laws to come to the White House to talk about immigration.
To that end, hes invited Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, Councilman Warren Kusumoto and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel to a meeting at the White House next Wednesday. The three are part of a group of officials invited to sit down with Trump for a talk about a growing anti-sanctuary pushback among cities and counties in the state.
“Warren and I are very honored to get this invitation. Its incredible to have this opportunity,” Edgar said Friday.
“The president asked us to provide stories and an update on whats going on the ground, and consider suggesting what they can do to help us further,” Edgar said.
Los Alamitos recent vote to exempt itself from the California Values Act, which limits cooperation between local and state law enforcement with federal immigration officials, launched a broader anti-sanctuary movement. Elected officials in more than 35 cities and counties have voted to oppose the law since Los Alamitos initial action March 19.
Also attending will be Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar, among others, Edgar said.
Steel, who introduced an anti-sanctuary resolution on the county level within days of Los Alamitos action, was the only elected official to greet Trump when he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport in March.
“It was a great privilege to be invited to meet with President Trump to discuss the danger these sanctuary laws create in our communities and I look forward to an open and proactive discussion,” she wrote in an e-mail.
A confirmation of the meeting was sent to elected leaders on Thursday. A White House official wrote that the president “is excited to hear your story and get your perspective.” The California group will be joined by Cabinet and senior White House officials in the West Wing, including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Edgar said.
As mayor of Orange Countys second smallest city, Edgar said hes hoping the federal government will intervene in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The ACLU alleges the citys new ordinance violates state law and is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The lawsuit could cost Los Alamitos – population 11,700 – as much as half a million dollars, Edgar and others have said. A GoFundMe “Mayor Edgars Stop Sanctuary Law” page, which aims to raise $100,000, netted almost $22,000 from 290 donors as of Friday.
A number of cities and counties opposed the SB-54 bill, written by state Sen. Kevin de León, while it was under consideration last year. After it became law this year, Los Alamitos was the first and only city to pass an ordinance saying it would opt-out, arguing that the state law is an attempt to override the federal governments authority on immigration matters.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors soon followed by saying it would join a federal lawsuit against California for three new laws to protect unauthorized immigrants. The city of Huntington Beach, better known for its surf culture, voted in April to file is own lawsuit against California.
President Trump, pleased that some in liberal California dont agree with Democrat-controlled Sacramento, shared his enthusiasm on Twitter.
….release known dangerous criminals into communities across the State. All citizens have the right to be protected by Federal law and strong borders.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
At least one anti-sanctuary Tweet was widely criticized, though, for the presidents use of the word “breeding,” seen by some as racist and a disparaging remark toward Latinos.
There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
More than 35 other jurisdictions followed Los Alamitos vote with their own actions, mostly in the form of resolutions and some by filing amicus briefs with the federal lawsuit against the state. They include San Diego County and Newport Beach.
Thank you San Diego County for defending the rule of law and supporting our lawsuit against California's illegal and unconstitutional 'Sanctuary' policies. California's dangerous policies release violent criminals back into our communities, putting all Americans at risk.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 19, 2018
So-called sanctuary laws, such as Californias law to limit when local police notify federal immigration agents about people in custody who are potentially deportable, are creating disparities across the nation on who is arrested or deported, according to a newly released report by the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington D.C. that studies migration and refugee issues.
“(The) unevenness in the enforcement landscape threatens a core principle of the U.S. constitutional system—federal pre-eminence in immigration—with severe implications for effective law enforcement relationships and public safety,” according to the report released Tuesday.
The law specifically mentioned in many anti-sanctuary ordinances, SB-54, has been controversial from the get-go. And during the election season, many politicians and wanna-be politicos are making sure to let their prospective constituents know where they stand, pro or con, on the issue.
Edgar, of Los Alamitos, said he is hopeful that this latest move, an invitation to the White House, will lead to more cities “to get on board and send a message to Sacramento and Gov. Brown that theyve overstepped their bounds regading the Constitution.”