The Sheriff of Orange County, California, said that the state’s new proposed “sanctuary state” bill is “very political,” “anti-Trump,” and would endanger residents. The sanctuary state bill would extend “sanctuary city” policies to apply to the entire state, and order all authorities to not cooperate with immigration officials seeking to capture illegal aliens.
“The public’s gonna be angry at the sheriff,” said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “And they should be. If I had the ability to protect them and I did not.”
“It’s very political, it’s anti-Trump,” she said of the sanctuary state policies. “For me, you have to think about what’s best for Californians, instead of making a statement.”
In February, Hutchens met with officials of the Trump administration to press for greater cooperation on immigration enforcement. She was praised by President Trump publicly for her efforts.
“I believe that this sanctuary state thing is really just absurd,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “To give people sanctuary who are criminals.” Youngblood has asked county officials to declare Kern County a “law and order” county, not a “sanctuary” county.
“What I can tell ya is that there’s a greater cooperation between local law enforcement and their federal partners than there ever was,” he told CNN’s Kyung Lah.
“How do you view that greater cooperation?” Lah asked.
“Well I think it’s a very positive thing for our communities,” Youngblood replied. “From my standpoint, it’s just absolutely crazy to look at some of the bills that come out of there.”
State officials who are pushing the sanctuary state policies disagree. Advocates of the policies say they help reduce crime by encouraging all residents, legal and otherwise, to report crime instead of hiding from police.
“I don’t think it’s crazy at all because what I want to do is make sure we don’t increase crime,” said California State Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), the author of the bill. “You will increase crime if local police officers are actually acting as cogs of the Trump deportation machine.”
Lah said the sanctuary state law would be a message to residents of California as well as a message to Washington D.C. from the Democrats who control the state government.
“No where in my lifetime have I ever felt this real insecurity with the current president of the United States, who I believe is a very clear and present danger,” DeLeon concluded.
Senate Bill 54 would institute the “sanctuary state” policies, and is still being debated in the California state legislature.