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P R E S S R E L E A S E
30111 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Phone: (949) 362-4300 www.cityoflagunaniguel.org
April 17, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Lochrie, Communications Consultant (949) 949-294-8269
Laguna Niguel City Council Condemns California Senate Bill 54
City votes unanimously to support collaboration between local law enforcement and Federal agents to prevent threats to public safety.
Laguna Niguel, CA – On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 the Laguna Niguel City Council voted unanimously to condemn California Senate Bill 54, which conflicts with Federal Law and the U.S. Constitution. The City also unanimously voted to join the County of Orange and several other Orange County cities, at no cost to the taxpayers, in an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of this new state law.
Senate Bill 54, which was passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Brown, prohibits Laguna Niguel’s law enforcement officers from working collaboratively with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency when a non-U.S. citizen is arrested for a serious felony such as domestic violence, assault or even homicide. The impact of the state’s new law could result in the release of accused criminals back into the community rather than turning them over to ICE for consideration of deportation.
“In Laguna Niguel our top priority is public safety,” said Laguna Niguel Mayor Elaine Gennawey. “We support our police officers and the rule of law. We welcome immigrants of every race and creed. We are a compassionate community, but we will not take away our local police officers’ ability to work collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies to further protect the public safety of our residents. “Siloing” law enforcement and limiting communications between public safety agencies can put our residents at risk.”
Additionally, the City is required to comply with Federal law to receive Federal grants. If the City were to ignore the Federal government’s authority to enforce immigration law, community services for the disabled, elderly and at-risk homeless residents as well as street improvement projects could lose the federal funding that keeps those important programs viable.
At the April 17th City Council meeting, more than two dozen speakers testified in a spectrum of support to opposition of the staff-recommended action for the City to follow federal immigration law. Despite the intense opinions on both sides, the speakers and the audience members conducted themselves with cordial decorum, listening respectfully and speaking with polite passion.
“Laguna Niguel has a reputation for respecting all points of view and allowing for a free and open dialogue on all sides,” said Mayor Gennawey. “We may not always agree, but we will always listen carefully and speak respectfully.”
With the City Council’s unanimous support of Federal immigration law and condemnation of California’s Senate Bill 54, Laguna Niguel joins the County of Orange and seven other cities in a growing chorus of communities interested in protecting local police officers’ ability to work with Federal agencies to identify and address threats to public safety in our community.
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