A lawsuit against an Orange County city that has opted to “exempt” itself from Californias controversial sanctuary law will move forward, a judge ruled Friday.
Orange County Superior Court Judge William Claster denied a motion to dismiss the case against Los Alamitos but agreed with the city to remove both the city manager and the police department as defendants.
Los Al, as its known to its residents, created an ordinance last April to opt-out from a new law called the California Values Act, which limits cooperation between local and state agencies with federal immigration agents. Two days later, the newly formed group Los Alamitos Community United, Rev. Samuel Pullen and local resident Henry Josefsberg sued the city.
Rev. Samuel Pullen is among the plaintiffs suing Los Alamitos over its ordinance against the California Values Act law, which protects people in the country illegally by limiting cooperation between state and local agencies with federal immigration agents. Pullen was part of a small gathering on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, near the Orange County Superior Court, where a judge Friday denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Los Alamitos resident Henry J. Josefsberg, an attorney, along with various members of a community group gathered in Santa Ana on Friday, August 24, 2018, to voice their opposition to a Los Alamitos ordinance against the states sanctuary law. Josefsberg is among the plaintiffs suing Los Alamitos over its ordinance. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
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Attorney Jessica Karp Bansal along with various members of a community group gathered in Santa Ana on Friday, August 24, 2018, to voice their opposition to a Los Alamitos ordinance against the states sanctuary law. Los Alamitos Community United, Rev. Samuel Pullen and local resident Henry J. Josefsberg filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Alamitos, Mayor Troy Edgar and others. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
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The ordinance, they argued in the lawsuit, will cause “imminent and irreversible harm” to immigrant communities in Los Alamitos and surrounding cities.
The judges order denying the citys request for dismissal “is the second legal blow for Los Alamitos anti-sanctuary ordinance,” said Jessica Karp Bansal, litigation director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which along with the ACLU and another law firm is representing the plaintiffs.
The first blow, she said, came in July when a federal judge sided with California and against the Trump administration in rejecting the federal governments move to block the California Values Act.
Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar didnt see Fridays ruling as a setback but as a procedural action that offered both sides direction and removed City Manager Bret Plumlee and the citys police department from the lawsuit.
“This is a critical fight for local control,” said Edgar, who earlier this week was at the White House for a recognition of the nations immigration agency. This was his second invitation to the White House since his city of some 12,000 residents attracted national attention thanks to the anti-sanctuary law.
A handful of jurisdictions passed resolutions last year before the California Values Act became law and took effect on Jan. 1. But it was Los Alamitos move this spring to create an ordinance that spurred a backlash against the law across the state.
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- Los Alamitos approves its precedent-setting anti-sanctuary ordinance
- Californias sanctuary law, SB54: Heres what it is — and isnt
- Trump loses effort to block 2 California sanctuary laws
There are 14 counties and 48 cities that have taken action against the sanctuary law, mostly in the form of resolutions, according to Shawn Steel, Republican national committeeman of California. They include nearly half of Orange County, with 16 cities approving measures against the sanctuary law and the county itself taking an oppositional stance. In the Inland Empire, numerous cities also have voted to oppose the law, including Beaumont, Corona, Murrieta and Yucaipa.