OC Cities Can’t Ignore Sanctuary State Law or The Activism That It Inspired

Pastor Sam Pullen of Los Alamitos speaks out. Photo courtesy NDLON

By Salvador G. Sarmiento, Guest Columnist 

Having joined Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach residents taking their city officials to the 4th District Court of Appeals in Santa Ana last week over the racist political stunt that’s been the anti-Sanctuary State offensive, it’s a good moment to celebrate Orange County activism. It’s turning the tide locally and inspiring communities across the state to defend immigrants’ civil rights and the sanctuary cities that uphold them.

Last spring, President Donald Trump and former attorney general Jeff Sessions hatched an idea–sue the state of California and roll-out an anti-immigrant campaign OC, the historical haven of xenophobia. After all, it’s the birthplace of proposition 187, which passed 25 year ago this November. All didn’t go as planned for Trump, Sessions, or for the elected officials in OC that followed along.

California had just overwhelmingly passed the strongest anti-Trumpism law in the country–the California Values Act (SB 54), ensuring most local and state resources aren’t utilized for mass deportations. The Golden State offered an important example: You need not comply with Trump’s backward threats.

Guided by a small but obnoxious hate circus, and the possibility of inciting their base for coming elections, the mayors of Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach both sided with Trump and tried to “opt-out” of this law. Los Alamitos sought an exit through an ordinance, Huntington Beach through a lawsuit of its own. Suffice to say, you can’t just opt out of most state law, but you can see where this is going. City residents immediately sued to ensure officials complied with SB 54.

Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach residents of conscience weren’t happy about their cities being used for political stunts, to put it mildly. Neither were dozens of civil rights, faith and community groups including Los Alamitos Community United, Oak View Comunidad, the Korean Resource Center, VietRISE, the ACLU of Southern California, Indivisible, Resilience OC, Chispa, CLUE OC, CHIRLA, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and many, many more residents, neighbors, parents, activists, artists, and musicians that happily denounced their city officials for siding with hate groups, often with songs, dance, and the most colorful hand-made posters ever.

One year later, the cities of Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach have needlessly wasted taxpayer money to defend their political stunt in court from their own residents, their attorneys, and from the public gaze of history itself. Though a local judge handed Huntington Beach an early reprieve from the law, just last week, residents took their city officials to court on appeal, and assuredly they will win.

Ironically, Trump’s anti-immigrant offensive in OC galvanized a new generation of human rights activists and the consensus became clear, “We celebrate sanctuary here.” Those officials that sided with the hate circus will not soon forget. Meanwhile, Trump continues to lose in federal court and new areas in OC are now fair game to talk sanctuary, civil and human rights–from Little Saigon to Laguna Niguel.

It’s an inspiring lesson and an example in the midst of the Trump era. Of course, there’s still a long way to go, but don’t take my word for it. You can ask any of the current GOP members of congress from OC–oh, wait.

Salvador G. Sarmiento is campaign director for the National Day Laborers Organizing Network

21 Replies to “OC Cities Can’t Ignore Sanctuary State Law or The Activism That It Inspired”

  1. Disrespecting federaral law is illegal and disrespects this country. The only people who provide cover for criminals are other criminals. Good thing the deportations will continue unabated, and Trump will be around for another five years, you red diaper kooks.

  2. Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates only cares about publicity. Why doesn’t he use the “charter city” designation to solve the REAL problems that actually impact residents on a daily basis? The city is over run with criminal drug addicts using public property as a toilet. Literally. Stealing everything that is not bolted down and triple locked. Syringes, garbage and human waste foul the parks and beaches. Illegal sober living homes are allowed to operate in long established residential neighborhoods with impunity.

    That is an issue that any person who lives in Huntington Beach or visits will encounter. Immediately. And continuously. There is no way that any of Gates groupies can pretend that sanctuary city status or not has any equivalent bearing on day to day quality of life.

    It is ludicrous that Gates spends so much time and energy prioritizing this “problem” while the city becomes seedier and more unsafe daily. People have been complaining and begging for help with the filth and crime and crazies during Gates entire tenure. For that “his hands are tied”. He doesn’t put an ounce of the same energy into the homeless/ illegal sober living issue. He wants the spotlight. Plain and simple. If he’s so brilliant he would come up with practical solutions. But all he does is make excuses and John and Ken appearances.

    1. “The city is over run with criminal drug addicts using public property as a toilet. Literally. Stealing everything that is not bolted down and triple locked. Syringes, garbage and human waste foul the parks and beaches. Illegal sober living homes are allowed to operate in long established residential neighborhoods with impunity.”

      Because Gov. Brown and the ACLU made that all legal, Gates and HB can’t do anything about it.

      AND, why are you running your mouth behind a fake profile ? get some courage, use your real name.

  3. “Gates and HB can’t do anything about it”. And there it is! EXCUSE. Right on schedule!

    Then get someone in there who CAN do something.

    It’s not impossible.

    Pass the buck, pass the buck. Blame, Blame.

    Doesn’t matter what political party . If you take the job then it’s on you. The false narrative is that if every single political position is filled by one party then all problems will be solved. That’s a crock.

    Also, ya’ll make city politics partisan. Now you’re saying that it doesn’t really matter what party is in power on city council or in the attorney’s office because there will always be bigger outside forces that they simply cannot beat. So remember that next time you tea baggers push to get your ineffectual candidates elected on party principle.

    Again — if you cannot DO the job. DO NOT take the job.

    And don’t cry little girl. It makes you look like a squat, bald, old man with a little boy comic book revenge fantasy who got kicked off a local position for being an anti-Semite. Wait. That IS who you are! My mistake.

  4. Michael Hoskinson is a liar by major omission. He constantly peddles a garbage false narrative (that is now several years stale) in which he was a blameless victim removed from his city position through some fabricated effort of his “enemies”.

    But he never mentions that it was his own “friend” on the right who came out forcefully to declare him “unfit” for any public office. It was Michael Hoskinson’s very own good ol’right wing buddy who wrote a whole blog declaring Michael a problematic bigot and loony.

    This same right wing author went to a Huntington Beach City Council Meeting and used public comments to AGAIN declare Michael Hoskinson unfit and temperamentally wrong to serve the city in any capacity.

    This is EASY to look up and verify. Read & listen to this (again) outspokenly RIGHT leaning politically “friend” of Michael’s make a very strong stand against Michael’s temperament and mental stability.

    Hoskinson rehashes all the bogus “cancer” and “connect the dots” of his fake persecution obsessively. But he never, ever mentions that his most outspoken critic knew him well and aligned with him politically. Simply because it doesn’t fit in with his make believe world of victimhood and phony justifications for his poor behavior.

  5. We support the protection of the needful,tired hungry immigrant to our shores; it Jesus himself. God bless you and America.

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