The city of Escondido could become the latest jurisdiction in California to join a lawsuit filed by the federal government challenging the state’s “sanctuary” laws.
As a result of efforts by Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and City Councilman John Masson, the city council is a few steps away from submitting a “friend of the court” brief in support of the March 7 preemption lawsuit filed against California by the Justice Department.
“Sadly enough the progressives and the liberals in Sacramento are disconnected from the cities and local government here and they want to take our local policing power away,” the mayor tells FAIR in an exclusive interview.
“They continue to harbor illegal criminals. Harboring and protecting illegal criminals and giving them more rights than our citizens is immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional,” says Abed.
A native of Lebanon, Abed arrived with his family to the U.S. in 1987 and became an American citizen three years later. He was elected mayor of Escondido in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
“I am very proud that my city and the city council is leading the way in joining the lawsuit against SB 54,” he adds.
If successful, Escondido would earn the distinction of being the first city in San Diego County to join the legal challenge to SB54, and two other sanctuary laws passed in 2017. SB 54 took effect the first of the year. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote in closed session on April 17.
The critical vote tonight comes on the heels of a March 13-16 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation in which 115 illegal immigrants were arrested. According to ICE, of those taken into custody, 43 percent had criminal convictions.
Not surprisingly, the cooperation of the city of Escondido with federal law enforcement has drawn open border activists out of the shadows.
One such activist group – “ICE Out of Escondido” – has issued a call to action to its members to protest today’s meeting and vote.
Patricia Serrano, vice-chair of the North County Immigration Task Force, told the San Diego Union-Tribune it was her intent to “make our elected officials uncomfortable here” in Escondido.
Perhaps Serrano and her allies should concentrate on making life “uncomfortable” for the numerous criminal aliens ICE is pursuing, such as the Mexican citizen convicted of statutory rape and sex with a minor.