Tehama County Resolves to Defy California’s Anti-Federal Immigration Mandates
By Red Smith
On Feb. 7th, the Tehama County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of a Resolution to “COMPLY WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS” and further that Tehama County is not part of a “SANCTUARY JURISDICTION.” Seen by many as a shot over the bow of the California Legislature and it’s recent, potentially seditious, behavior in regards to defying Federal Constitutional Immigration laws, this resolution has the potential to begin drawing the front lines of the coming collision of California and the Feds over immigration. It is believed other groups, spearheaded by the Jefferson Free State 51sters, will soon be “encouraging” other county boards of supervisors to also sign a similar resolution. This resolution will also be presented to the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) on Feb. 15th in Sacramento.
Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: February 7, 2017
Prepared By: Maeve Landon Preparer Phone: 530-527-3287
Preparer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular Item BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Requested Action(s) a) RESOLUTION NO. 2017-16 – Request adoption of a resolution declaring that Tehama County complies with federal immigration laws, and does not constitute a “sanctuary” jurisdiction
Financial Impact: There is no cost associated with adopting the resolution. The underlying policy discussion at the federal and state level, concerning which counties and cities constitute “sanctuary” jurisdictions, could have substantial long-term impact upon the receipt of federal funds.
Background Information: On January 25, 2017, the President issued an Executive Order directing that federal funds be withheld from “sanctuary” jurisdictions. There is presently no established definition of a “sanctuary” jurisdiction, but it generally refers to cities or counties willfully refuse to comply with federal immigration laws with the intention of hindering enforcement of those laws. In addition to the mandatory requirements of federal immigration law applicable to local governments (which primarily concern information sharing), federal immigration authorities (i.e, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or “ICE”) often request voluntary assistance from local governments and law enforcement agencies, including requests to hold individuals in custody known as “immigration detainers.” The costs of providing the requested assistance are largely unreimbursed by the federal government, and a variety of other factors sometimes make it difficult for even the most cooperative local governments to provide such assistance, including California state law (particularly the TRUST Act, Assembly Bill 4 of 2013), other legal requirements associated with detaining individuals, and limitations on funding, staffing, jail capacity, etc.
(Senate Bill 54, presently pending in the Legislature, would further limit certain types of voluntary cooperation between local governments and ICE.) It has recently come to staff’s attention that Tehama County, along with the vast majority of other counties in California, are included on some lists of “sanctuary” jurisdictions compiled by immigration reform advocacy groups. These lists are unofficial, and vigorously disputed by many local governments, but there is nonetheless some concern that the recent Executive Order could be interpreted to include any county on these lists. The proposed resolution would therefore reaffirm that Tehama County is not a “sanctuary” jurisdiction and fully complies with federal law. The resolution would further state the County’s intention to provide inter-agency assistance to ICE within available (ID # 9507) resources (including funding, staffing, jail capacity, legal constraints, etc.), and would urge the adoption of policies at both the state and federal level to ensure that the County is not in jeopardy of losing any federal funding, and is reimbursed for any assistance provided to ICE.
RESOLUTION NO. _______________
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF TEHAMA DECLARING THAT TEHAMA COUNTY COMPLIES WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS, AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A “SANCTUARY” JURISDICTION WHEREAS,
the County of Tehama respects both the rights of members of immigrant communities, and the authority of the United States government to regulate immigration; and WHEREAS, the term “ sanctuary” jurisdiction has historically and correctly been applied to those local governments w ho deliberately refuse to comply w ith federal immigration law s as the result of local policy decisions by that jurisdiction’s elected officials, w ith the intention of hindering enforcement of those law s;
and WHEREAS, federal law , 8 U.S.C. §§ 1373 and 1644, provides that no government entity may prohibit or restrict its officials from sending to, or receiving from, United States immigration authorities information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of any individual;
and WHEREAS, in addition to the foregoing mandatory legal obligations, United States immigration authorities often request additional voluntary assistance from local governments and law enforcement agencies, including requests to hold individuals in custody know n as “ immigration detainers” ;
and WHEREAS, such voluntary assistance is largely unreimbursed by the United States government, and as w ith all requests for interagency aid, local governments and law enforcement agencies w ith limited resources are often forced to make difficult decisions regarding w hether assistance can be provided on a case-by-case basis, including considerations of funding, personnel availability, jail capacity, and other legal obligations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County of Tehama, acting by and through the Tehama County Board of Supervisors, hereby DECLARES that the County of Tehama complies w ith 8 U.S.C. §§ 1373 and 1644, and does not prohibit or restrict its officials, employees, or any other person from sending to, or receiving from, United States immigration authorities information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of any individual.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County of Tehama, acting by and through the Tehama County Board of Supervisors, hereby DECLARES that it does not refuse to comply w ith federal immigration law s as the result of any local policy decisions by County elected officials, does not have any intention of hindering enforcement of those law s, and does not meet any reasonable definition of a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County of Tehama w ill at all times endeavor to provide appropriate interagency assistance to United States immigration authorities w ithin the limits of its resources, including funding, personnel availability, jail capacity, and other legal obligations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Congress, federal Administration, and other appropriate agencies of the federal government are hereby urged to include representatives of rural local governments in California and nationwide in the process of developing any legal definition of a “ sanctuary” jurisdiction.
2 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Congress, federal Administration, and other appropriate agencies of the federal government are hereby urged not to reduce, restrict, or eliminate any federal funding to local governments, on the sole basis that such local governments are sometimes unable to provide voluntary assistance to United States immigration authorities due to resource limitations as described above.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Congress, federal Administration, and other appropriate agencies of the federal government are hereby urged to provide local governments w ith full cost reimbursement for any assistance requested by and rendered to United States immigration authorities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Legislature, Governor, and appropriate California state agencies are hereby urged to adopt legislation, regulations, and policies applicable to local governments that adhere to federal law and are consistent w ith the authority of the United States government to regulate immigration.