Sept. 28, 2018 – Yesterday, a state Superior Court judge based in Orange County issued a ruling in a lawsuit filed by the city of Huntington Beach against California’s “Sanctuary State” law, SB 54 or the California Values Act. The ruling has no effect on SB 54’s application in California’s 58 counties, over 350 “general law” cities, or state agencies. However, the judge erroneously found that the law does not apply to Huntington Beach due to its status as a “charter” city. A written ruling is still forthcoming, and the effect of the judge’s ruling on other charter cities is unclear. Many of the largest such cities are already on record as supporting SB 54. The court’s ruling does not set any precedents and is subject to review from higher courts.
In response to this development, the ICE Out of California coalition steering committee, including Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and PICO California, issued the following statement. The coalition is a statewide alliance which played a key role in passing the California Values Act.
Background: SB 54 (de León), also known as the “Sanctuary State” law or the California Values Act, sets a minimum standard across the state to limit local law enforcement from acting as deportation agents. A recent study from the Migration Policy Institute found that “sanctuary” policies like SB 54 have successfully reduced deportations. While an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center has been attempting to orchestrate opposition to SB 54 in certain conservative areas of the state, recent polling has found a solid majority of voters support the “sanctuary state” law. The Trump administration’s attacks on “sanctuary” jurisdictions have met a series of defeats in federal court.