ACLU Appeals Judge’s Ruling Letting Surf City Opt Out of Sanctuary State Law

La migra. (Wikipedia Commons)

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal Monday in Orange County Superior Court to a judge’s ruling that supports the City of Huntington Beach’s refusal to abide by California’s so-called “sanctuary state” law.

The city sued the state in April 2018 over Senate Bill 54, which went into effect four months earlier and restricts the cooperation of state and local police with federal immigration authorities.

Huntington Beach argued in Orange County Superior Court that as a charter city, it should not be required to comply with SB 54 under the constitution. California’s 121 charter cities have more control over municipal affairs than general law cities. Judge James Crandall ruled in Huntington Beach’s favor.

That is the basis for the appeal that was filed on behalf of Huntington Beach and Los Alamitos residents, workers and community organizations, because the latter city was the first to opt out when it came to enforcing SB 54. Los Alamitos is also a charter city.

The ACLU, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the law firm of Latham & Watkins are representing the appellate plaintiffs.

A press conference is scheduled this morning in Huntington Beach, where peakers are to include: Victor Valladares and Oscar Rodriguez of Oak View ComUNIDAD in Huntington Beach; the Rev. Samuel Pullen of the Community Congregational United Church of Christ of Los Alamitos; members of Los Alamitos Community United; Sameer Ahmed, staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California; and Salvador Sarmiento, organizer at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Senate Bill 54’s ears were already burning before the appeal was filed on Monday. Some critics claim that the sanctuary state law can be linked to the death of Newman police Corporal Ronil Singh, who was gunned down last month during a traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver. Suspect Gustavo Perez Arriaga is an undocumented Mexican national.

Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed SB 54 in 2017, denied last week that the law led to Singh’s slaying.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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