Immigration activists ask Supervisors not to join Trump sanctuary lawsuit

SAN DIEGO – A large group of immigrant advocates and county leaders rallied in front of the County Building Tuesday to urge the Board of Supervisors not to join a Trump administration lawsuit against California.

The Supervisors will meet on April 18 behind closed doors consider a proposal to join the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month targeting the California Values Act, as well as two other laws that seek to protect California’s immigrant and refugee communities from mass detentions and deportation.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar, who is running for Congress,  is bringing the proposal to join the Trump administration lawsuit before the board. The supervisors are scheduled to vote on the proposal after the closed-door discussion.

At Tuesday's rally, immigration rights advocates said they fear there will be limited opportunity for public comment before the vote, and the public will not get to hear the board's deliberations.
Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the San Diego American Civil Liberties Union, claimed the proposal is unconstitutional and goes against San Diego’s values.

“We are here to say, please don’t side with the White House on this,” she said.

Immigrant advocates said they are concerned that if the federal lawsuit is successful, local police will be forced to identify people who may be undocumented and turn them over to federal immigration authorities. Pastor Bill Jenkins, who runs a sanctuary church in Normal Heights called Christ’s Ministry, said that would not be acceptable.

“We don’t want to make the local police immigration agents. If we need more immigration personnel, which the president says we do, OK, get some more! He’s sending the National Guard to the border, so why do we need local police?”