We, the members of Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE), strongly oppose the decision of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to join a Department of Justice lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws. We also are deeply troubled by the resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors that condemns Senate Bill 54 (California Values Act), which bans local law enforcement from sharing immigration status information to federal authorities.
While the Board of Supervisors argues that the resolution is non-binding and merely symbolic in nature, we denounce the measure’s message. In a county that has grown and thrived on the labor and intellectual and cultural contributions of immigrants, it is shocking that uninformed, inflammatory, and anti-immigrant sentiment shared by our local elected officials has caused them to take such disgraceful actions on behalf of their constituents. In passing this resolution, the Board of Supervisors is communicating to a significant and valued number of Orange County residents that they have no rights, are not welcome, and should live in fear.
Contrary to the beliefs behind these actions, studies conducted at the Center for American Progress and UC San Diego have concluded that crime rates are actually lower in cities with sanctuary policies in place, because local law enforcement is focused on keeping communities safe rather than becoming caught up in enforcing federal immigration efforts; additionally, threatened members of the community will be less forthcoming when they are victims or witnesses of crime, which exacerbates the problem of crime reporting and solving.
The OC Board of Supervisors actions serve to foment fear and suspicion among the members of our communities. As a strong and diverse county, we are at our best when working with and supporting each other, not stoking distrust among our ranks.
As proven by rulings of court after court, sanctuary laws are not unconstitutional. Sanctuary laws are not designed to attract illegal immigration. Sanctuary laws are designed to build trust and encourage cooperation in an appropriate and non- threatening way between local law enforcement and communities.
As a population, we cannot afford to lose protections for the most vulnerable among us; even more critically, we cannot afford to sacrifice our moral integrity, which those protections represent.
March 28, 2018, Orange County