Northern California Counties Buck State’s ‘Sanctuary City’ Trend

Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams, right, talks to Larry Treat, master miller at Lucero Olive Oil, in Corning on Wednesday. Williams introduced a successful resolution to declare that his county has never been a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants — a potential first for California. (Photo: Greg Barnette/Record Searchlight)

The California backlash to President Trump’s immigration policy ends somewhere north of Sacramento.

Supervisors in two counties have voted to make their views clear: They are not a “sanctuary.”

Tehama County’s board of supervisors narrowly passed a resolution on the issue earlier this month that may be the first of its kind in California. Up on the Oregon border, Siskiyou County quickly followed suit with a resolution approved Tuesday. And the county between them, Shasta, is likely to consider the same.

These counties didn’t just buck the California trend of standing up to Trump by declaring local sanctuary status — or even revoke that status as Florida’s Miami-Dade County did earlier this month.

They went out of the way to formally vote they were never sanctuaries to begin with.

With Tehama leading and others following, “I’m sure you’re going to see a whole bunch fall right in line,” said Republican state Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, likening the non-sanctuary resolutions to the ongoing effort to gain independent statehood for this conservative region.

Local politicians said they weren’t familiar with any other California counties that had taken non-sanctuary votes, and several immigrant-rights organizations interviewed by the Record Searchlight said the same.

Other California jurisdictions, including Fresno, have unofficially said they’re not sanctuaries. And Tuesday, the City Council in Salinas narrowly turned down a proposal to declare sanctuary status. But outright non-sanctuary resolutions are a potential first.

“Very few jurisdictions are passing resolutions with this kind of language. In fact, the momentum is entirely in the other direction,” said Angélica Salceda, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “A number of California counties have reaffirmed or passed new policies that promote fair policing and keep immigrant communities safer, and that number keeps growing.”

The supervisor who introduced Tehama’s resolution said it’s about money.

Citing fears that the county would lose crucial federal funds because of Trump’s executive order to punish sanctuary jurisdictions, Supervisor Bob Williams introduced his resolution after finding out that Tehama had been included on a conservative political action committee’s sanctuary list.

Some lists consider all California counties sanctuaries, but the Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC specifically naming Tehama County — and not others — seemed odd. While agriculture is a leading industry here and the population is 24% Hispanic, Trump won a resounding 65% of the presidential vote.

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SOURCE: USA Today; Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, Alayna Shulman

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