The Orange County Sheriff's Department on Monday started publicly posting the release dates of all inmates through an existing online database. But the goal is to assist agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
"This action will enhance communication between the Sheriff's Department and our law enforcement partners to remove unsafe offenders from our community", the department said in a statement Tuesday, openly challenging California State Bill 54, otherwise known as the California Values Act, which restricts police communication with federal immigration authorities.
Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach praised the outcome of Orange County's preliminary vote, calling on other parts of California to oppose the "flow of the illegals".
The Justice Department sued California in March over three state laws, including one that requires the state to review detention facilities where immigrants are held and another that limits the ability of state and local law enforcement officials to turn people over to immigration authorities.
Opposition to the law has been growing in historically conservative Orange County.
On Tuesday, Orange County's all-Republican Board of Supervisors voted to join the lawsuit, the Associated Press reported.
In addition to the sheriff's department and Los Alamitos, other Orange County agencies are taking stands against SB 54 or considering do so.
"This change in policy is basically affecting everybody else who doesn't have a serious criminal history under SB-54", she said.
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Surprisingly, Governor Jerry Brown's office conceded that what Hutchens did was in compliance with state law.
The board's vote on Tuesday was heavily criticized by immigrant advocates.
"Here in California, we respect the Constitution and follow the law", Becerra said in a statement in reaction to the Los Alamitos ordinance.
"State law is state law".
Another Orange County city, Buena Park, might also join that movement.
Not all of California opposes President Donald Trump's immigration policies. "What I'm doing is entirely within the confines of the law and I'm doing what I think is important for my constituents". While the negotiations resulted in several modifications to the bill, Hutchens said the final version still limits communication "in a way that puts the public at risk".
Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley welcomed Orange County's decision to support the suit over California's "sanctuary state".
Hutchens has been an outspoken critic of SB 54, which she said "makes local law enforcement's job more hard and requires bureaucratic processes that could allow unsafe individuals to fall through the cracks of our justice system". "And that means bolstering our cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and stopping our county from becoming a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants".