Newport Beach is latest O.C. city to consider opposing ‘sanctuary state’ law


It started in the small town of Los Alamitos, which ignited the resistance to California’s so-called sanctuary state law in March with a council vote to exempt the city from Senate Bill 54.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors, which voted to join the federal lawsuit; the city of Huntington Beach, which filed its own lawsuit this week; and the city of Fountain Valley, which joined a law group’s court brief supporting the federal suit.

San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Yorba Linda have recently taken stands against the sanctuary laws.


This week, Newport Beach will consider formally opposing California’s key “sanctuary state” law with a City Council resolution Tuesday.

The council will weigh a resolution that specifically targets SB 54, which in many cases prohibits local law enforcement from alerting federal immigration agents when detainees who may be subject to deportation are released from custody.

A pending U.S. Justice Department lawsuit challenging the state’s sanctuary policies contends they obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state law.

Newport’s proposed resolution says the city “respects and supports the United States Constitution.”

Newport has a history of opposing SB 54. In August, the council voted to have the city manager send a letter against the bill while it was still in the Legislature.

The proposed resolution further states that “the City Council is committed to protecting the city of Newport Beach’s residents through the enforcement of local, state and federal laws. The adoption of SB 54 has created a conflict between state and federal law and has restricted local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal authorities to protect California residents.”


“The conflict leaves the City Council no choice but to publicly state its opposition to SB 54.”

Other California laws aimed at protecting people in the United States illegally include one shielding workers from workplace raids and one creating a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

Santa Ana last week voted to support the sanctuary state law. And Fullerton decided not to take a stance on the matter.