RIPON (CBS13) — Ripon is joining a growing list of cities and counties in the state that support the federal government’s lawsuit challenging California’s immigration laws.
One of the laws limits cooperation between federal immigration agents and local law enforcement. It protects undocumented individuals in public schools, libraries and medical centers.
Ripon is the first city in Northern California to pass a resolution opposing California’s sanctuary state decision, a vote the mayor says is to protect all citizens.
Ripon Mayor Mike Restuccia is concerned over the law, which he says forces any elected official to violate the oath of office.
“We consequently have illegal people in the country that are felons that are being released in our community that we cannot hold and I thought that was wrong. My job is to make sure our citizens are protected,” he said.
This week, the Ripon City Council voted on a resolution opposing the law. The city now supports U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit filed last month against the state of California.
“The United States Constitution says that immigration is, in fact, a federal law, and it has a supremacy clause that overrides the state constitution so what they have done is that have put me and everybody else that takes the oath of office in a very precarious position,” he said.
Ripon’s resolution gives local law enforcement the OK to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It’s a vote, city leaders say is supported by many in this mostly conservative community.
“This issue for us is, you have a known criminal who is already in custody and the federal government wants to do what the federal law says they can and should do, if that is followed this whole thing of going out into the community doesn’t happen,” said Leo Zuber, Vice Mayor, City of Ripon.
Council members say education is the key. City leaders say their decision was not based on immigration issues, instead it was a vote for public safety.
“There is a lot of information out there that people think and a lot of propaganda that people say you’re are a racist, you hate immigrants, and I think it’s pretty clear in this community that we have a lot of immigrants and we all know people that probably are here illegally, but that’s not what’s about,” said Daniel De Graaf, City of Ripon.
The mayor said leaders from other communities have reached out asking to use Ripon’s resolution. So far, seven other cities and counties that are located in southern California have passed similar moves opposing the sanctuary law.