As Sheriff of Orange County, it will be my sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States, first and foremost. I will not allow criminals who should not be released into our communities out of jail because of an unconstitutional law. In the fall of 2017, the legislature in the State of California passed SB 54 and it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown creating the first in the nation Sanctuary State. This bill, which took effect January 2018, places California in conflict with the federal government, whose role it is to create immigration law and to subsequently enforce those laws. The supremacy clause of the US Constitution states federal laws shall be supreme. The states cannot pass laws that undermine the laws constitutionally passed by the federal government. I applaud the effort by Attorney General Sessions to take on the sanctuary policies of this state and the attempt to return safety and security to our public policy.

SB 54 claims it is protecting the constitutional rights of Californians and is “directing the state’s limited resources to matters of greatest concern.” Concerns like high speed rail and letting violent felons out of prison before serving their time. Across the spectrum of law enforcement, our officers are being made to face more and more precarious situations where their safety is unnecessarily being put at risk by politicians more interested in protecting criminals than they are in protecting law abiding citizens. Recently, the Mayor of Oakland decided it would be a good idea to warn people who are in this country illegally and who were wanted by ICE agents that a raid was imminent. There were approximately 800 wanted individuals in this area of sanctuary and approximately 600 were able to avoid capture and deportation. Among those wanted were several wanted for sex crimes and other violations of law. How does this sanctuary thing make the community safe? Warning suspects of impending law enforcement action is akin to obstruction of justice and she should be arrested. Our communities deserve better and our law enforcement officers, local and federal, deserve better.

It’s not like the state is not bending over backwards to support those in this country illegally. There is a legal defense fund of $12 million dollars that has been established to defend those in this country illegally who face deportation. Those are taxpayer dollars being used that should be used for much more important government tasks like schools and roads. This state is inviting illegal immigration from around the world to add to our already three million people here illegally. I welcome the long overdue challenge to this unconstitutional law.

The law abiding citizens of this state need to once again rise up and say, “Enough.” It is time to start fighting back against public safety policy making us less safe. The first front is in Sacramento. We need leadership to go to the capitol and fight these laws before they become law. Once they become law we need to find innovative ways to deal with these criminals being let out of prison and keep our law abiding citizens safe. The other front is through public engagement, talking to the communities we serve, being part of the community not just driving through the community. Better communication starts with actively engaging the communities we serve and ensuring those in the community know the adverse impacts of bad public safety policy before they become law.

The legislature in this state, controlled by one party rule, is hell bent on letting criminals out of prison making us all less safe. It is time for all citizens to stand up and demand we put victims first and the rights of the law abiding ahead of criminals.

I pledge as Sheriff I will uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. I will not allow criminals who should not be released from jail, back into our neighborhoods. I will put law abiding citizens first and promise to fight back against policies coming out of Sacramento that make us less safe. We deserve better!

Dave Harrington is the Mayor of Aliso Viejo, a 29 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Candidate for Orange County Sheriff.  Dave has been an advocate for School Safety and led one of the first Orange County school’s active shooter training of its kind in the City of Yorba Linda when he was the City’s Sergeant.

Here is more info on Dave.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

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