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Newport to weigh possible stance against state’s ‘sanctuary’ law Tuesday

Supporters and opponents of California’s “sanctuary state” laws let the Huntington Beach City Council know their opinions at a meeting Monday.
Supporters and opponents of California’s “sanctuary state” laws let the Huntington Beach City Council know their opinions at a meeting Monday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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 Senate Bill 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.

Other Orange County governing bodies that have shown their opposition include the city of Los Alamitos, which ignited the sanctuary resistance in March with a council vote to exempt the city from SB 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.

Costa Mesa is studying the potential effects of SB 54, and other cities throughout the county, including San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Yorba Linda, have recently taken stands against the sanctuary laws.

Balboa Peninsula Trolley

The Newport council also will consider extending the upcoming second season of the Balboa Peninsula Trolley.

The proposal would put the summer shuttles on the streets three weeks earlier than last year, running them from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

The free shuttle debuted in 2017 during the peak tourist season to ferry visitors and locals around the usually congested peninsula.

Vehicles ran Saturdays and Sundays between June 17 and Sept. 3, plus the Fourth of July and Labor Day, between Hoag Hospital and the Balboa Pier. The service had about 900 boardings per day, according to ridership figures compiled by the shuttle’s contracted operator, Signal Hill-based Professional Parking Corp.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. with a study session, followed by the regular session at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

hillary.davis@latimes.com

Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD


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