Yorba Linda City Council: Stand with SB54 CA Values Act

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April 6, 2018


RE: Council Action: IRLI Amicus Brief-CA Values Act SB54

Hon. Mayor Hernandez and Councilmembers Campbell, Haney, Huang and Lindsey,

Our Yorba Linda group of residents and community advocates who live, work, and do business in the city are compelled to document opposition to the council action taken 3/20/18 in response to an offer from a designated anti-immigrant hate group (IRLI) for pro bono legal services to avoid the city from being individually sued by the federal government for following the rule of state law under SB54. We urge you to rescind your action to file amicus brief in the interest of the significant number of law-abiding Yorba Linda residents now intimidated and fearful of law enforcement as a result of city leadership taking this action.

Given the fact that Yorba Linda is a contract city with policing delegated to the OC Sherriff who has not moved to support the federal lawsuit against the state, the city of Yorba Linda’s action - based on avoiding the cost of a suit that has not been threatened or filed and mis-characterization at the 4/3/18 council meeting of a community described as being universally opposed to the CA Values Act – as citizens, we feel compelled to provide a broader view.

Council comments did not include reference to the fact the federal government is suing the state over three laws passed in 2017 that limit government officials’ and employers’ ability to help federal immigration agents, and that give California the power to review conditions in facilities where immigrants are being detained by the feds. It’s patently irresponsible for county and city officials to talk about dangerous undocumented people being released into the community putting federal agents in danger. The Department of Justice has full access to facility data needed to detain or arrest dangerous people upon discharge. Our local tax dollars should not be spent to do the job of federal agencies. The lawsuit is intent on permitting government employees and business owners to cooperate with ICE if they want to do so. We agree that conflict between our state and federal laws is eminently complex, but do not see this as the basis for opting in to a special interest offer of legal defense to potential action that has not even been taken.

The Fullerton city council deliberated filing the amicus brief and determined that the interests of families, workers, schools and community should take priority as the state defends its lawful SB54 against the federal government. We believe the City of Yorba Linda has a duty to represent the entire community, including more than 50% ethnic diversity. The history and reputation of Yorba Linda being an unwelcoming and unfair community should be put behind us. There are overwhelming facts supporting the encouragement of a community that feels protected by law enforcement, not deterred out of fear from reporting crimes or taking their children to school or for medical care. Let’s move beyond dated attitudes and maintain a law-abiding community by letting our contracted policing agency do its work. The courts will determine the legality of SB54, and Yorba Linda should opt out of the amicus brief prior to the imposed August 6th timeline.

Thank you for your sober consideration of our viewpoint on these matters.