By Edward Sifuentes / American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties
On Tuesday, April 17, a majority of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against the State of California. The lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, targets three California statutes, including the California Values Act that serves to keep state and local law enforcement agencies out of the business of mass detentions and mass deportations.
Supervisors Gaspar, Horn, and Jacob voted to file an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit at the “first available opportunity” (most likely on appeal). Supervisor Cox voted against the proposal. Supervisor Roberts was absent from today’s meeting, but issued a statement last week urging his colleagues to “stay out of this issue.”
The following is the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties’ response to today’s action:
Our Board of Supervisors’ decision to align with the Trump lawsuit against the State of California is troubling for many reasons: It disregards our shared values and common destiny as Californians; it ignores the recommendations of law enforcement experts, including Sheriff Bill Gore and former San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano, who know our region is safer when there’s trust between immigrants and local authorities; it ignores a whole host of unknown implications that would result from our state’s resources being subjected to federal appropriation; and it circumvents our reasonable expectation of county government transparency and public accountability.
We believe the Trump lawsuit is without merit in that it seeks to undermine our state’s constitutionally-protected authority to allocate limited state resources to priorities that ensure the safety and well-being of all California residents and communities. Should the lawsuit prevail, it will lead to the federal government’s imposition of an anti-immigrant agenda that is uncaring, conflict-ridden and ultimately unworkable in California and in San Diego County.
It will affect not only the estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants who call California home but also their loved ones, neighbors, employers, employees, classmates, and communities. It will affect public safety and public health. It will affect school enrollment and therefore school revenue. It will affect efforts to reduce the populations of county jails and detention centers. It will affect the stability of our local economy and the future prosperity of the entire county. It will affect many residents’ civil and human rights in ways we have yet to imagine.
We call on the Board of Supervisors to rescind their decision to side with the Trump administration in this flawed lawsuit. Instead, we ask them to stand with San Diego County and stand with California.