For months, ever since other Orange County cities began taking stands against California’s new “sanctuary law,” Tustin has faced pressure to do the same.
In contrast to what is typically a staid affair, Tustin council meetings increasingly have been dominated by passionate opponents of SB 54 – which, under certain circumstances, limits interaction between local police forces and immigration officials.
Finally, city staff decided to reach some sort of closure by putting the issue on the agenda. Last week, council members voted 3-2 to send a resolution to state leaders reaffirming the city’s 2017 letter expressing opposition to the bill, which then was still a work in progress.
Dated March 22, 2017, the city’s original letter was signed by all five council members. But amendments to SB 54 before it became law addressed many of the concerns stated, City Manager Jeff Parker explained.
As it is now written, Parker said, “SB 54 does not prohibit our police department from exchanging information with ICE regarding Part I offenses” – among them, murder, rape, burglary, child abuse and felony drug possession.
So far, SB 54 has shown no correlation with the city’s crime rate, Parker said, adding that Part I offenses have decreased by 12 percent since the law went into effect in January.
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