Tulare County Supervisors vote 3-1 to oppose state immigration law

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says people in Tulare County are less safe because of how Senate Bill 54, or the California Values Act, is written.

The law limits communication and information shared between local law enforcement agencies like his and federal immigration authorities.

He says the law has loopholes that need to be addressed.

"In times past, immigration enforcement could use resources within our jail system, come through our jail system, identify those wanted persons, never filtering into our community impacting with collateral damage," Boudreaux said. "Now we have ICE that will be going into our communities. I really want to try and prevent that."

"(ICE is) showing up at schools, they're showing up at hospitals," said a man who spoke after the sheriff. "I don't believe the sheriff can guarantee for one second that they will not overreach here in the county and I don't believe for one minute that we should encourage them to do so."

Tuesday, Tulare County Supervisors discussed adopting a resolution to oppose SB 54, urging the state to, "Abide by its constitutional obligation to protect its citizens."

Almost every speaker opposed the resolution.

Some said it would continue to cause fear in Tulare County's immigrant communities.

Others argued it wasn't the board's place to send a message that is symbolic at best.

"You know what? I voted for some of you," one woman said to supervisors. "I'm embarrassed to have put you up here, in this kind of control that you have over our people. When are you people going to realize that it's the immigrants that make this a profitable county and Tulare County being the breadbasket of the world?"

Last week, the city of Hanford unanimously passed a resolution opposing state immigration laws including SB 54.

Tuesday, one of their councilmembers urged Tulare County supervisors to stand with them.

"(They are) laws which restrict local and federal law enforcement agencies, laws which put citizens and non-citizens at like, at risk, by protecting criminal aliens and allowing them even after incarceration, to continue their criminal activities," said Martin Devine.

"We have supported immigration," said Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel. "We have supported immigrants in the past on this Board of Supervisors. What I do not want to do is support those who are out there preying upon those who are living productive lives and trying to live safely in Tulare County."

Supervisors Vander Poel, Ennis, and Crocker voted in favor of the resolution opposing the state law, while Supervisor Shuklian was the sole no vote.

Recently, Porterville decided not to declare their opposition to SB 54, as well as some other state laws.
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