Los Alamitos City Council Votes to Opt Out of California’s ‘Sanctuary’ Law

With about 12,000 residents spread across a few miles of suburban Southern California, Los Alamitos is better known for its good schools and small-town charms than political activism.

Spectators cheer as the Los Alamitos City Council votes to oppose California's sanctuary state law on March 19, 2018. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Spectators cheer as the Los Alamitos City Council votes to oppose California's sanctuary state law on March 19, 2018. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

But the city now finds itself at the center of a rebellion against California's "sanctuary" policies, which aim to protect immigrants here illegally as President Trump vows to ramp up deportations.

Los Alamitos leaders on Monday approved an ordinance that exempts their Orange County municipality from Senate Bill 54, a law that took effect Jan. 1 and restricts local law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It marks a rare effort by a city to challenge the sanctuary movement, which has wide support among elected officials in left-leaning California.

Many cities have faced the ire of Trump and his administration for policies they say are too lenient toward those here illegally. The president slammed San Francisco over its sanctuary law, which he said had allowed a Mexican national who fatally shot a tourist to remain on the streets. And Oakland's mayor is now the subject of a federal investigation after she sent out an alert warning residents of an immigration sweep.

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