Orange County is becoming the epicenter of a growing battle. Following a vote in Los Alamitos last week to approve an ordinance exempting one of the O.C.'s smallest cities from the state's sanctuary status, a handful of other cities have voiced their support.
"There's been some momentum in Orange County ever since Los Alamitos," said Los Angeles Times immigration reporter, Cindy Carcamo, who has been covering the story.
Yorba Linda, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo have joined the resistance in some capacity. Now, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has voted to join a federal lawsuit to fight the state's sanctuary laws.
How can small cities afford to go up against the state?
Many of these moves by cities or municipalities have been symbolic, but others are a call for battle.
"The legal scholars that I've spoken with have said that there is going to be a legal fight," Carcamo said, "especially when it comes to Los Alamitos because Los Alamitos is blatantly exempting itself from California law."
The Los Alamitos approach? Starting a "GoFundMe" page as a preemptive move for any legal fights that may crop up. The page reads, "Please contribute to our GoFund Me Page for the City's legal defense. The funds will go directly to the City to pay for our legal costs." So far, just over $4,000 has been raised.
As the story develops, here are some things to keep an eye on:
- This is just the beginning—Los Alamitos sparked it all about a week ago, and Orange County has since followed suit. More cities and municipalities within the county are expected to join in the near future.
- Orange County is changing, but don't expect it to happen too quickly—Even though the county voted Democrat for the first time since the depression, "It's going to take awhile for it to go blue. It's more of a violet right now." And that's because...
- ...the county is still red at its core—"It's traditionally been a red county. It gave birth to proposition 187. It's been stridently anti-illegal immigration for some time."' Change won't come quickly.