A small California city voted Monday to opt out of the state’s new sanctuary law, with the city’s leaders saying they hoped others would follow their lead and defy the restrictions placed on their ability to cooperate with federal authorities.
Los Alamitos also said it will side with the Trump administration in its new lawsuit against California challenging three sanctuary laws, the Orange County Register reported.
The debate over the move was heated, the paper said.
But the council voted 4-1 in favor of opting out. The council must vote again next month to finalize the opt-out.
“As the mayor of Los Alamitos, we are not a sanctuary city,” Mayor Troy Edgar said.
One of California’s sanctuary laws, which took effect Jan. 1, prevents state and local law enforcement from asking about immigration status and from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration related matters — including when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asks to be notified about an illegal immigrant’s release from jail.
State leaders defended the law as a compromise, saying federal agents and officers are still allowed to do their jobs, but they cannot pressure local authorities to cooperate.
Homeland Security officials, though, say they’re being forced to release drunk drivers back onto the streets because local authorities won’t respond to pick them up.