April 10th Long Beach Municipal Election: Andrew Carroll and Kevin Flores Discuss Investigation into Long Beach Campaign Finance

Joe Brizzolara / April 24th, 2018

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Long Beach, California has been known affectionately by locals as a ‘sunny place for shady people’. Kevin Flores and Andrew Carroll want you to know about the shady money driving Long Beach politics.

Their recent piece for Forthe, an art-media collective based in Long Beach that produces watchdog journalism, examined campaign contributions in the most recent Long Beach municipal election, held on April 10th. They found that Mayor Robert Garcia’s largest contributions came from real estate developers, casting suspicion on his stance opposing the rent control movement currently underway in the city. They also found out how donors were able to skirt Long Beach’s restriction on campaign contributions over $400.

Along with the two’s analysis, this episode features an overview of the election results, discussion of the controversial Land Use Element, and the role of independent, multicultural journalism in Long Beach.  

‘Sanctuary State’ Lawsuit; ACLU sues Los Alamitos after City Council votes to formally implement its anti-‘Sanctuary State’ ordinance

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – Crowds arrived hours before the meeting. Outside, bullhorns and chanting can be heard blocks away. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

Author: Joe Brizzolara / April 23, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, along with other groups, is suing the city of Los Alamitos for an ordinance which exempts the city from SB 54, the so-called “Sanctuary State” Law.

The law prohibits state and local officials from assisting federal agents to enforce immigration law, unless compelled to do so by court order.

Several other cities and the county have decided to support Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s lawsuit against the state, arguing that SB 54 and two other laws aimed at opposing Trump’s immigration policy are unconstitutional. Sessions is arguing that these laws are a violation of the supremacy clause, which grants the federal government precedence over state law. While other municipalities either joined the lawsuits or sent supporting documents, Los Alamitos is the only one to pass an ordinance that directly contradicts the state law.

“The United States Constitution takes exception with the California Values Act, and that is what I proposed to my colleagues,” says the ordinance’s sponsor, Councilmember Warren Kusumoto.

“I can’t think of a better, more forceful way to say we’re on record [opposing SB 54] than to add an ordinance to our municipal code.”

In a statement to the press, Sameer Ahmed, staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California said, “ The City Council cannot appoint itself judge and jury and decide which state laws it will and will not follow… That is clearly unlawful.”

Reverend Samuel Pullen of the Community Congregational United Church is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and said, “Los Alamitos’s illegal ordinance causes serious harm to my ability to serve my congregation… Immigrant worshippers are less likely to come and participate in church services because of their fear that Los Alamitos and its law enforcement officials are helping deport members of our community.”

They held a press conference at the Los Alamitos City Hall on Wednesday where they presented the lawsuit to the City Clerk. The lawsuit claims that the ordinance is unlawful, squanders city funds, and “threatens residents’ safety and well-being.”

Two days before, the City Council voted 4-1 to officially implement the ordinance which they passed last month.

The scene was raucous, with protesters on both sides loudly expressing their beliefs on the grounds of the Civic Center and in public comment which went on for around 4 1/2 hours.

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – A Somalian man waves Trump campaign and U.S. flags high. He says he and his family came to this country legally. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

The night of… inside

After genial city business, like presenting an award to a Los Alamitos police officer for drunk driving enforcement, the council voted to drop many of the agenda items for the evening and commence on the issue that drew the large crowd that evening.

Barbara Farrell of Los Alamitos said “SB 54 is the law of our state. As a citizen of Los Alamitos, I demand that you uphold that law. Vote no, do not tear our families and communities apart. We are a diverse community, and we love our diversity. We love our immigrant neighbors.”

“The reason for the ordinance was ostensible to be concerned about conflict between state law and federal law,” said Joel Block, a resident of neighboring Rossmoor, labor attorney and a former State Assembly candidate.

“That conflict is being resolved in the lawsuit by Attorney General Sessions against the state of California that ultimately will probably go to the highest court if they accept it to make a final determination on that issue. Adding another ordinance is gonna create another lawsuit which is gonna create the possibility that you could get two different decisions.”

“You’re taking over the judicial function of determining whether the state law is legal or not. City councils cannot take over that judicial function of nullifying state law (I want that to sink in). You can end up having Sessions win the case against California and you could still lose this lawsuit.”

Gerri Mejia, former mayor of Los Alamitos, voiced her support for the ordinance and advised fellow supporters to “put their money where their mouth is.”

“There’s a “GoFundMe” page that will help people who support what you’re doing tonight, and what you did at the last council meeting, to be able to give funds… They can give to that cause and they can make sure that this city, the first city, the smallest city, took a stand and said we need to make sure that we secure our residents.”

Mayor Troy Edgar created the “GoFundMe” to pay for legal costs for the predicted challenge of the ordinance.

At the time of publication, the page had raised over $20,000 of its $100,000 goal.

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – A Somalian man waves Trump campaign and U.S. flags high. He says he and his family came to this country legally. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

Antoinette Joselyn West, a resident of Los Alamitos, supports the decision: “I support you. I’m a resident of Los Alamitos for 31 years and I believe you’re doing the right thing.”

Betty Robinson, a 60-year resident of Orange County, argued: “Supporters of illegal aliens say that there are 800 crimes listed in SB 54 that allow for I.C.E. to be notified. The California State Sheriffs Association opposes SB 54 and lists examples of crimes committed by illegal aliens for which I.C.E. would not be called such as: serial thieves, assaults to police officers, chronic drug users, known criminal gang members, and repeat drunk drivers.”

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has publicly come out against SB 54, going so far as to publicly post inmate release dates on their website, giving I.C.E. an indirect notification of undocumented immigrant releases.

Councilmember Mark Chirco was the lone vote against the ordinance.

After asking the city attorney how much money had already been spent on the ordinance—thousands—Chirco learned from Los Alamitos Chief Eric Nunez that SB 54 has had little to no effect on Los Alamitos policing. He then went on to deliver an impassioned speech against the ordinance.

Chirco, the only lawyer on the city council, argued that the council did not have the legal authority to determine whether or not SB 54 is unconstitutional.

“I’m not saying whether there is or is not a conflict [between SB 54 and the U.S. Constitution]. I know who will say that—a federal judge.”

“The constitution says it is the judicial branch that settles disputes of law and interprets the constitution.”

“Since there has been no finding that SB 54 is unconstitutional, I do not believe that this city council has the legal authority to declare it unconstitutional.”

He argued that, along with being highly divisive, the ordinance has wasted Los Alamitos’s precious money and resources.

“Tonight, we’ve got a couple of agenda items that we’re not going to address. They were on the agenda last month, we’re not addressing those as well. That’s our actual city business.”

“Defending this flawed ordinance, could and would literally bankrupt our city. How then do we pay for our wonderful police department? Pay for our community events? Pay for our excellent city staff? We don’t. Do we increase taxes? I don’t want to do that.”

“I don’t think government by “GoFundMe” is responsible government” Chirco quipped.

Councilmember Richard Murphy argued that while he supports the idea of the ordinance—“it’s easy to vote against a bill [SB 54] that protects illegal alien criminals”—there should be more time to review its legality.

He proposed to table the ordinance, allowing for city staff to come back with more options. His motion was not seconded and died.

“I urge the council to slow down and get it right.”

Murphy ultimately voted in favor of the ordinance.

Councilmember Warren Kusumoto, the ordinance’s sponsor, chose to not offer comment.

Mayor Edgar dropped a Navy adage while delivering his enthusiastic support for implementing the ordinance: “You can’t keep polishing the cannonball, you gotta shoot it.”

He spoke proudly of the trend that Los Alamitos started and refuted those who criticized the “circus” that was occurring at city council meetings such as this one.

“Don’t be afraid of democracy. That’s what this is right?”

 

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – Demonstrators opposing the anti-‘Sanctuary State’ ordinance. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

…Outside…

Outside the council chambers, a chaotic mix of protesters on both sides made loud declarations of their beliefs.

“Hey hey, ho ho, all illegals got to go” went one chant.

“Up up with liberation, down, down with deportation” went another.

Shouting matches erupted throughout. A few physical altercations took place between the opposing protesters, but they were quickly stamped out by Los Alamitos police officers who were monitoring the situation closely.

Along with Los Alamitos P.D., members of the National Lawyers Guild were there observing. One volunteer explained that they often observe protests in the hopes of deescalating any possible altercations and to document any conflicts that might arise with law enforcement.

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – Protesters attempt to silence one another. Los Alamitos P.D. stand nearby, intervening only for physical altercations. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

“There’s been quite a bit of shouting back and forth, people having arguments with each other, but other than that there are people on both sides expressing their opinions very forcefully.”

At moments, grounds around city hall felt like a music festival, with drums beating and a keyboardist playing Mexican music, encouraging people to dance.

Erik Garcia, a member of Decolonize O.C., says of the other side: “They’re pushing a political agenda that endorses hate.”

Matthew Hom, of Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish organization: “We don’t support instilling fear in our communities and [the City Council] using their power to make a divisive situation.”

Mike McCoy, who was holding a sign reading ‘Build A Wall, Deport Them All’: “The state of California doesn’t have any jurisdiction over immigration law.”

“26,000 [U.S. Citizens have been killed by undocumented immigrants] since 9/11. That’s more than Vietnam.”

Los Alamitos protests break during votes on SB54

April 16, 2018 – Los Alamitos – Mike McCoy, supporter of Los Alamitos’s ordinance exempting itself from California’s ‘Sanctuary State’ law, sits outside of City Hall. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

Killings by undocumented immigrants was a popular argument amongst protesters supporting the ordinance.

Marina Lynn held a sign that read “Kate Stiehle Robert Morton Had Dreams No Sanctuary City.”

“These two victims were killed by illegal aliens,” Lynn explained.

While there is no concrete data on the rate of killings committed by those in the United States illegally, several studies have found that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than people born in the U.S.

“You break the law you go to jail,” one anti-illegal immigration protester announces while a Los Alamitos police officer looks on.

Jake is a Los Alamitos resident and was waving a flag along Katella Boulevard with a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and shirt. He said that most of the people in his community support the city council’s decision.

Andre Soriano, a fashion designer, legally immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. He believes it unfair for undocumented immigrants to not have to go through the rigorous citizenship process like he did: “We came here legally, we believe in the constitution of the united states of America, and it’s not for free… [Immigrants] have to work for it. They have to be legal.”

 

‘The rent is too damn high!’; SoCal Rent Control Coalition Holds Press Conference In Downtown Los Angeles

Author: Joe Brizzolara / April 16, 2018 

Coalition of groups pushing for regional rent control gather at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

April 12, 2018, April 12, 2018, a regional coalition of groups pushing for rent control in their cities gather at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky | The Sprawl

The steps outside of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Grand Park were alive with chants for rent control this past Thursday. A coalition of affordable housing groups from across the Greater L.A. area held a press conference to a scattering of press and onlookers. Organizers held signs with slogans including “No Nos Vamos A Dejar” (‘we are not going to leave’) and “Make Housing Affordable!”, while standing behind moving boxes.

Most of these groups are currently gathering signatures to put rent control initiatives on their cities’ ballots in November.

Allison Henry of the Pasadena Tenants Union announced that their charter amendment had just received an endorsement from the Pasadena Unified School District, Board of Education. Two Board members are actually collecting signatures themselves, Henry added.

“They’re concerned about declining student enrollment and personnel in the district who are getting their own rents increased, outpacing what the district is able to pay them,” said Henry.

The conference featured both Spanish and English speakers. Each speaker was followed by a translator who summarized their statement.

Mike Van Gorder, Captain with the Glendale Tenants Union, shared stories of Glendale residents who have suffered dramatic rent increases, including two who were forced to move out of the city. His organization is seeking an ordinance in Glendale that will cap rent increases at 4% a year.

“I’m not here to talk about my own massive misfortunes because in the grand scheme of things, I’ve been very lucky,” said Van Groder. “But should we have to rely on luck for a [sic] living situation? No.”

Van Gorder listed other reforms he’d like to see in place: “Repeal Costa-Hawkins, get rid of the Ellis Act, we need income reflective housing for the working class, we need vacancy taxes, we need a public bank to fund public land trusts and public housing.”

“But first things first,” said Van Gorder, “We need meaningful rent stabilization.”

Jordan Wynne, of Housing Long Beach, ended his statement with a chant for “Rent Control Now!” If passed, their ordinance would cap rent increases at 100% of the C.P.I., a index used by government to determine inflation.

Promise Lee, an organizer with Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, called for an expansion of rent control in the City of Los Angeles.

Lee described the situation in a non-rent controlled building: “There are folks that have already been forced out because they can’t pay these rent increases. And across the hall there are these young hip white folks who are moving in and partying in those flats while the remaining low-income residents are working and fighting and organizing to stay.”

Roughly 43.6% of housing units in the City of Los Angeles are rent controlled, according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Housing and Community Investment Department of the City of Los Angeles.

Many Affordable housing advocates want to expand rent control by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Act, a state law which prohibits certain units from being rent-controlled. Signature gathering is currently underway for a statewide proposition to do just that in November.

Alberto Andrata of Pomona, Apolonio Cortez of Santa Ana, and Maria Gustos of Unincorporated East L.A. all delivered their statements in Spanish. Like their English-speaking counterparts, they spoke of predatory landlords and wages unable to keep pace with rising housing costs.

Woodrow Curry of Uplift Inglewood, also pushing for a rent control charter amendment, delivered a call to action: “Join a local campaign if there is a local campaign in your area. If there is not a local campaign in your area, do like many of us have done and start one.”

Repeal of Cost-Hawkins and rent control initiatives are being strongly opposed by Apartment Associations in the state which represent real estate developers and landlords. The largest among them, the California Apartment Association, successfully lobbied against a repeal of Costa-Hawkins in the state assembly earlier this year. In 2017, their political action committee reported total contributions of a little over $1.5 million.

 

A Contentious Place To Live: Fountain Valley City Council Votes in Favor of Amicus Brief Supporting Federal Government’s Lawsuit Against ‘Sanctuary State’ Laws

Author: Joe Brizzolara / April 6, 2018

city hall

Los Alamitos City Hall. Photo: Chris Rusanowsky / The Sprawl

On Tuesday night the Fountain Valley City Council voted 3-2 in favor of sending an amicus brief supporting Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Lawsuit against the State of California for the California Values Act, the so called “Sanctuary State” law.

The California Values Act (SB 54) prohibits state and local officials from assisting federal agents enforce immigration law.

Fountain Valley is one of the latest cities to join in Orange County’s backlash against the state government for its immigration policies aimed at directly opposing the Trump Administration.

Across the county Tuesday night, San Juan Capistrano’s City Council voted in favor of a symbolic resolution condemning SB 54 while nearby Fullerton voted against taking action. Conversely, Santa Ana voted to send an amicus brief supporting the State in the lawsuit.

The night before Huntington Beach, swarming with protesters, voted to file its own lawsuit against the state while the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted last week to join the Justice Department’s lawsuit. And on Wednesday night, Aliso Viejo voted to also send an amicus brief opposing the state.

“An amicus brief is essentially a ‘friend of the court’ brief. It is a legal position for the court without actually getting involved in the lawsuit,” explained Fountain Valley City Attorney Colin Burns.

The recent trend began in early March with the City of Los Alamitos. They passed an ordinance that directly exempts itself from SB 54.

Along with the California Values Act, the federal lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of two other Californian laws. The Workplace Raid Law (AB 450) restricts employers from turning over employee records to I.C.E. without a subpoena. The Detention Review Law (AB 103) requires that the California Attorney General review any detention center that holds undocumented immigrants who are awaiting deportation or immigration court.

Councilmember Larry Crandall proposed the legal action and believes that ‘Sanctuary State’ laws are unconstitutional. He took action after receiving feedback from Fountain Valley residents about their frustrations with Sacramento.

“Now that I was on council, and had an opportunity to do something about it, I did it.”

Crandall, commenting on the state legislature’s Democratic supermajority: “They hate our President, and they will do whatever they can to hurt him.”  

Signs carried by those opposing the anti-‘Sanctuary State’ measures read: “F(ountain) V(alley) A Nice Place for Everyone” playing on the city’s official nickname “A Nice Place to Live”. Another reads: “I’m Local I support SB 54.”

Supporters of the anti-‘Sanctuary State’ measures carried American flags and a few wore ‘Make America Great Again’ caps and shirts. One women’s shirt reads “ARREST Gov. Brown [State Senator and author of SB 54 Kevin] De Leon [State Attorney General Xavier] Becerra.”

Longtime Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was in attendance, pledging his support for action against the state.

“I am here to encourage you to join with other cities in the amicus brief in opposing what is an outrageous policy that is being forced on local governments by establishing a policy that will bring criminals into California, and into our areas where we have given sanctuary to criminals.”  

“Don’t try to get around what your real position on the matter is by saying you can’t do it because of the money. Because I will help you raise that money, or I’ll give it to you out of my personal campaign treasury,” said Rohrabacher, offering to pay for the legal expenses of an amicus brief.

Rohrabacher’s comments were met by roaring applause from his supporters but also led one detractor to verbally confront him as he exited the meeting. Fountain Valley Police escorted the congressman to a neighboring police station.

Councilmember Crandall says he was in contact with Rohrabacher’s staff leading up to the meeting.

“I thought I’d kinda talked them out of coming because it’s a Fountain Valley issue,” says Crandall. “I didn’t want it to become [the] real dog and pony show that it ended up being. But he has a right to come.”

Concerning the offer of funding for a legal challenge: “The council has a budget and we’re gonna see to taking care of this on our own. We don’t want to get involved in political campaigns.”

One man wearing a shirt reading “Make California Great Again” tells someone on the phone jokingly: “I’ll probably get arrested for what I have to say.” Another in a MAGA hat remarks in earnest about politics: “It’s all theater.”

The crowd had to be reminded several times, often to no avail, to remain quiet throughout the hours of public comment.

“We’ll vote you out!” threatens one attendant, if the proposal was voted down.

“We’ll vote you back in!” says an attendant who opposed the proposal.

“Our job at the state level is to create as safe an environment as we can for people to be successful human beings,” says Matt Taylor, Fountain Valley resident and Fullerton College professor. “I feel like putting state and local officials in charge of enforcing immigration reform really confuses the roles and creates an environment, quite frankly, that I not only [don’t] want to work in, but [also] live in.”

“Let the federal government do its a job and when it has probable cause to arrest and detain someone I think we should participate. But if the federal government doesn’t have cause to detain someone, the lack of their documented status is not sufficient reason to turn them over to the federal government.”

Fountain Valley resident Steve Dolberg, who supports legal action against SB 54: “The City of Fountain Valley obviously needs to take a stand one way or the other. It’s the only way Sacramento is going to get feedback [on whether] what they’ve done is acceptable or not.”  

“I’m not one of these people who says ‘they’re all bad, they all have to go’… [but] they have broken the law in order to get here which makes them a criminal… they are not citizens of the United States, they are not entitled to constitutional protections.”

“All [the options involving legal action] have significant costs associated with them,” warns City Attorney Burns. “By passing an ordinance, you do open yourself up to a challenge by the state Attorney General, possibly by other private groups… the intervention into the federal action requires a substantial amount of attorney time, you essentially become a party to that lawsuit.”   

Councilmember Crandall believes that the amicus brief option was the most cost efficient while still taking an active position.

“Filing an amicus brief is not going to expose us to lawsuits.”

Along with Fountain Valley, Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo (which also passed a symbolic resolution supporting Los Alamitos’s ordinance) have submitted amicus briefs.

“What I found very disconcerting is that the state would impose, unilaterally, on cities the status of sanctuary state/city. Without any input from us. We didn’t get a chance to vote, we didn’t have dialogue, it was just imposed. I think that’s fundamentally wrong” says Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez.

While agreeing with Los Alamitos’s position, Hernandez felt that it would have been the wrong tactic for Yorba Linda.

“Los Alamitos will get sued. They will have to fight the lawsuit. My thinking is, the Feds are already suing the state, let’s support the Feds. They foot the cost of the lawsuit where it’s going to end up anyway. This will go before the Supreme Court to make a ruling on, a couple years down the road I would imagine. That’s the reality of it. So just to do the symbolism of [passing a municipal ordinance] we get the same effect by writing this brief and saying ‘we do not support being a sanctuary city, and here’s the reasons why.’”

Mayor Michael Vo abstained from casting a vote on the amicus brief. He preambled his vote by mentioning Jim Kanno, Fountain Valley’s first mayor and possibly the first ever Japanese-American to be mayor of a U.S. city. He talked about Kano’s history of being held in a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II, an oblique reference to an instance when the federal government’s authority was used to persecute a minority group.  

“His only crime was having Japanese parents,” said Mayor Vo. “Fountain valley is better to not take a stand on this issue.”

“This isn’t about legal or illegal immigration,” argues Councilmember Crandall. “This isn’t about the color of someone’s skin, the language they speak. It’s [about] the rule of law. And the supremacy clause says that federal law supersedes state law”

“I can hang my hat on the rack and go to sleep at night knowing we did the right thing for the right reason”

Los Alamitos: ‘the little cottonwoods’ makes a big statement

From the Los Alamitos Ordiance’s background provided in the City Council agenda: “The California Values Act (SB54) is contrary to the United States Constitution and infringes on the rights of the citizens of the City of Los Alamitos… In view of this contradiction, it is impossible to comply with both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California. When two governing documents contradict each other, the order of precedence needs to be invoked and followed.”

“It was a very simple theory I had. If the state was arguing that they could be exempt from certain federal laws, then I wanted to pose to my colleagues, why couldn’t we be exempt from certain state laws?” says Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto who proposed the Los Alamitos Resolution.

Like Fountain Valley’s April 3rd Meeting, the normally muted Los Alamitos City Hall was overflowing with protesters on both sides of the aisle cheering and jeering for hours.

The ordinance was passed on March 19th, shortly after the federal lawsuit was filed on March 7th. Kusumoto claims the timing was unplanned.

Kusumoto says that one of their reasons for passing the ordinance was to make sure that companies contracted by the federal government could comply with E-Verify requirements without fear of being targeted by the state. E-Verify is an electronic database that certifies an individual’s legal status.

“If they obey California law, they might lose their federal contract,” says Kusumoto. “I thought, this is not right, and we ought to put something in place that would at least offer them that protection.”

Niels W. Frenzen, Director of USC’s Immigration Clinic, refutes this concern: “The California Values Act, SB 54, does not have any impact whatsoever on E-Verify”

Frenzen believes that Kusumoto might have been referring to AB 450, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act.

Frenzen points to a specific exemption for E-Verify written into AB 450: “In accordance with state and federal law, nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted, construed, or applied to restrict or limit an employer’s compliance with a memorandum of understanding governing the use of the federal E-Verify system.”

Jessica Levinson, law professor at Loyola Law School, believes the Los Alamitos ordinance is illegal.

“There is discretion for localities to make laws that differ from state laws,” Levinson explains, “but not laws that specifically say, we will not abide by state law.”

“When there’s a direct conflict, the state will win.”

Councilmember Kusumoto acknowledges that he was not entirely sure of the ordinance’s impact when he proposed and voted for it.

“10 days after [the ordinance is implemented] they’re gonna sue us. For what? I don’t know. So we’ll see”

On April 16th, the Los Alamitos City Council will reconvene and vote to officially implement the ordinance now that it has been passed.  

Sameer Ahmed, staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, voiced their opposition in a statement: “City council members claim they want to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but their vote does the exact opposite. The state of California has every right under the Constitution to protect the safety and well-being of all of its residents, and ensure that its resources are not being used to enforce federal immigration laws that fuel mass deportations, separate families and spread fear through immigrant communities.”

Policy director and senior staff attorney Angela Chan of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an immigrants rights group in Orange County, echoes this opposition: “Los Alamitos is seeking to violate state law and the rights of its own immigrant residents.  If Los Alamitos passes this wrong-headed ordinance, it will be signaling to its residents that it is more interested in tearing families apart, violating due process rights, and engaging in racial profiling than in respecting and protecting its residents.”