Saturday, May 12, 2018

Open Letter to Tustin City Council: When Will You Oppose SB 54?

In early April, I wrote a letter to the Tustin City Council urging them to take a stand against SB 54 and file a formal amicus brief against SB 54 with the city of Huntington Beach or with the federal DOJ lawsuit against the state of California.

It has been over two months since Los Alamitos took the formal, brave stance to oppose SB 54 and officially opt out of the law through their own ordinance. Yet other Orange County jurisdictions are sitting on their hands and doing nothing.

This reticence is really troubling. This section of Orange County remains largely Republican and somewhat conservative, for starters. Why would the city continue to drag its feet?

Residents within the city and activists around the region have attended the Tustin City Council meetings at length, pressuring the councilmembers to oppose the law. Granted, the city issued a formal letter opposing SB 54 when it was working its way through the state legislature.

But now it's a law, and the law is endangering law enforcement, small businesses, and community residents. It's time for Tustin to take a stand. I received a letter from one of the city staffers which outlined that Tustin is not a sanctuary city and has no interest in becoming one.

Here are the contents of the letter I received on May 10:

Dear Mr. Schaper,

Thank you for your email to the City Council regarding California Senate Bill No. 54 (SB 54). The message was forwarded to me as I am the Communications Manager for the City of Tustin.

In response to your questions regarding SB 54, the City would like to clarify some specific points:

  1. The City of Tustin has never declared itself as a “sanctuary city” nor does the City have plans to do so in the future.    
  1. Long before many other cities opposed it, the City of Tustin was on record in writing, opposing SB 54.  On March 21, 2017, the City Council voted unanimously to oppose it, and in a letter dispatched to the Legislature the next day, Tustin’s Mayor laid out the City’s objections to SB 54 in detail (see attached).
  1. Our country and City are founded on the principle of the rule of law. The Oath of Office that all of our Council members and police officers take includes the pledge to support and defend both the California Constitution and the Federal Constitution.  The City and Tustin Police Department will continue to be true to those oaths and to respect the role of the courts in determining what the law and our great Constitutions require. 
  1. The City of Tustin will continue to comply with both the Federal and State Constitutions.  Legal challenges are already underway regarding SB 54 and its constitutionality, so the responsibility of resolving that issue belongs now to the courts.  

Tustin is blessed with a strong sense of community, a place where our neighbors and friends and our City work together.  Cognizant always of our role in protecting our American freedoms and fulfilling all of our constitutional responsibilities, we look out for one another.

The Tustin Police Department will continue to ensure the safety of our residents and businesses, to protect our peaceful City.
In closing, the City of Tustin will continue to comply with Federal and State law as determined by the courts.

On behalf of the City of Tustin, we appreciate your email and concern regarding this matter.

 Stephanie Najera
 Communications Manager
 City of Tustin
  300 Centennial Way, Tustin, CA 92780
  (714) 573-3107

These non-actions and excuse will not work for me. Every city and county must become a de facto sanctuary jurisdiction because of SB 54. More cities and elected officials need to take a stand and stop fighting this issue. The arguments about community and unity are window-dressing for political cowardice, and they are not acceptable.

By the way, I would vocally encourage any of you reading this post to contact the Communications Manager above and let her know your thoughts about Tustin's refusal to oppose SB 54 and sue the state.

There is a small victory in having received this letter. Normally, political figures and their staffers do not responded to heated or repeated inquiries unless they are feeling inordinate pressure to do something. The emails, the calls, the complaints to the city must be rising in number.

But I am not relenting until the city of Tustin gets on board opposing SB 54.

Here is the latest letter which I have written on this matter:

If the city of Tustin already opposed SB 54 as a bill, there is no reason for the city council not to issue a second resolution opposing the law.

Furthermore, the arguments listed in your email below are moot. The city of Costa Mesa passed their own resolution opposing SB 54.

It is essential for lawmakers, the Department of Justice, and our Federal leaders--President and Congress--understand that more cities in California want this terrible, unconstitutional law struck down and our sovereignty and security restored.

It is has further been reported to me that two members of the Tustin City Council have no interest in taking on this issue precisely because they are seeking higher office on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Such political machinations are cynical and inappropriate to the fullest.

The Tustin City Councilembers took an oath, and they have a duty to uphold that oath. The argument that "the courts" will settle this issue is not an excuse for the city to do nothing. Constitutional principles and governance is not as complicated as elected officials want to suggest.

The United States Constitution declares clear and convincing principles on the enumerated powers of our government, and then delineates that all other powers belong to the states and the people.

There is a growing tide of outrage about the city's resistance to doing nothing. The community's demand for the rule of law, as well as a declaration against SB 54, will not abate until the city council steps up and does its job.

The city can and must take one of the following actions against SB 54:
  1. Opt-Out Ordinance from SB 54
  2. Resolution Opposing SB 54
  3. Issue a Stay of Compliance until the courts issue a final ruling on SB 54
  4. File Lawsuit Against State of California
  5. Join with Huntington Beach lawsuit against California
  6. File Joinder with DOJ/Huntington Beach lawsuit
The city's intransigence on this matter is inexcusable.


Arthur Schaper

Final Reflection

The city of Tustin needs a reminder and a wake-up call from all concerned citizens in the city and throughout the state and country.

Here are the emails to contact the city council and staff:

Tell the city to stop stalling, stop hiding, and stop running for their constitutional duties to protect the rights of citizens and stand up to Sacramento's pro-illegal alien lawlessness.

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