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County Counsel Prepared Title and Summary of Proposed Measure
Title: Humboldt County Immigration Sanctuary Ordinance
Summary for the Proposed Measure

(499 words)

California state law limits the discretion of state and local law enforcement and other public agencies and public and private employers to cooperate with federal civil immigration enforcement agency activities. (Government Code sections 7282-7285.3.) State law recognizes that the discretion of local agency officials may be further limited by local law or policy (e.g., Gov. Code sections 7282.5 (a) and 7284.6 (a)(1)(C)). The proposed measure would enact an ordinance establishing more restrictive local
law and policies for the County of Humboldt regarding immigration status and enforcement.
Specific prohibitions, restrictions and polices are listed for the use of county funds, county law enforcement officials, all county agencies, and the welfare of children of deported parents. None of the limitations will prohibit county employees or officers from discussing immigration status as part of a service request, obeying lawful orders, taking action to protect persons or respond to emergencies, or investigating criminal activity other than violations of immigration law. Exceptions to the prohibitions, restrictions, and policies apply when the action is required by federal or state statutes or regulations, court orders or decisions.
The Sheriff and Juvenile Probation Officer are each required to provide semi-annual reports to theBoard of S  upervisors on the number of any detentions based solely on civil immigration detainers for each six-month period beginning with the effective date of the ordinance. The report is to include a description of all communications to or from the federal agency charged with enforcement of immigration law.
If enacted, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors is required to send copies of the ordinance to all County departments, agencies and commission, U.S. Senators and Congresspersons representing California, the federal immigration enforcement agency, the U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of State, and the President. County employees are to be given written instructions for implementing the ordinance and be advised that failure to comply with prohibitions will be grounds for appropriate disciplinary action.
The County Human Rights Commission is charged with reviewing compliance with the ordinance by County agencies in particular instances where there is a question of noncompliance or a complaint of non-compliance has been lodged. The Commission is to report its findings to the Board of Supervisors within a specified time period.
Nothing in the proposed ordinance is intended to create any new rights or liabilities for which the County would be liable for money damages. Nothing in the proposed ordinance is to be construed to violate, be contrary to, or to be in defiance of any federal or state law. The proposed ordinance includes a severability clause that in the event some portion of the ordinance is determined to be invalid, it would not affect the validity of the remaining portions. Furthermore, should any provision of the proposed ordinance place federal funding for County services at risk as a result of federal or state
legislation, a court order, or standing federal executive order, that provision shall be deemed invalid so long as the legislation, court order, or executive order remains in effect.


9000 civilians died in Mosul.

There is a team of Americans (seven of them, stationed in Kuwait) who are supposed to investigate allegations of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. None of them, according to the AP report, has set foot in Mosul or made any effort to collect physical evidence. “The Americans say they do not have the resources to send a team into Mosul.” The Associated Press does have the resources: “an AP reporter visited the [central] morgue six times in six weeks and spoke to morgue officials and staffers dozens of times in person and over the phone.”

A real investigation is critically important not only for the sake of truth-telling (the coalition acknowledges responsibility for only 326 casualties in Mosul) but also to find that better way of fighting. “Understanding how those civilians died,” says Chris Woods, head of Airwars, an independent organization that documents air and artillery strikes in Iraq and Syria, “. . .could help save a lot of lives the next time something like this has to happen. And the disinterest in any sort of investigation is very disheartening.”

So maybe this is a reference to Charlie Rose?



I went to see The Post as a special showing KHSU put on for its donors and volunteers. It’s very well done and I think gets most of the history right within the acceptable boundaries of poetic license. It’s nothing like the made-for-TV movie the Pentagon Papers which was from whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s perspective. For those who don’t know, he’s the guy who worked for Rand and stole the intelligence analysis of US intervention in Vietnam from 1945 to mid-sixties with each administration involved in lies, election rigging, and admissions that the intervention was a failed policy. Ellsberg gave the papers to the New York Times who published it. When the NY Times was hit with an injunction after several stories, Ellsberg gave the thousands of papers to the Washington Post who continued to publish stories about it. The Nixon Administration sued to shut them down and lost at the Supreme Court. That’s the background history most of us over 40 know, though its significance has declined over the decades since.
Where I think the poetic license is stretched is with the melodrama in the decision making process in WAPO, upon which the drama is based. The Supreme Court was at its most liberal in history, and there really is no precedent to shut down media coverage of a story based upon materials which were not obtained illegally by the newspaper itself. That the source obtained the materials illegally was of no consequence, and most legal scholars fully expected the NYT and subsequently the Post to win. I really doubt the WaPo legal team pushed as hard to discourage the publication as depicted in the film.
But I have to say that my biggest objection to the movie comes from the confusion I experienced when I first heard about it. WaPo is known for breaking Watergate wide open. I had always remembered the NYT as the heroes (besides Ellsberg) who broke the story, and you almost forget that with the focus on the Post.
But about 20 minutes in, I realized why the focus on the Post as relevant to current politics. The movie was about Katherine Graham, whose father had turned over the paper to her husband. When he died she became the first woman to run a major newspaper, and if you believe the storyline it wasn’t such a major paper until they published a story in defiance of the injunction against the NYT.
And this is really the core of the story. It’s less about Vietnam era politics, moral dilemmas of journalism, or the thinly veiled analogies with Trump and his threats to the media and critics, and more about the story of a woman who transforms from wishy-washy to strong leader. Actually, it’s more complicated than that and during the movie it occurred to me to compare and contrast the Merrill Streep’s depiction of Graham with a character she played much earlier in her career. In Silkwood she played a fiery young woman impulsively driven to push back when pushed. There has been no shortage of feminist-friendly films where innately tough women buck the male culture with confidence and resolve. But there is another kind of feminist heroine. If you accept that the prevalent culture seeks to minimize the importance of female experience, opinions, and ability and that while some women are either born with or have unique life experience which toughens them for such fights, there are also the women who have internalized their upbringing and the cultural pressures. Who lack confidence and the accompanying resolve. She seems weak early in the film. In a Board room full of men she has something to say, but she won’t get it out. And for those of us rooting for her, we’re frustrated in those early moments. She is the dynamic character, so her weakness early on is pretty blatant foreshadowing for her stronger resolve later in the movie – aided by her ever-confident and full-of-resolve male ally played by Tom Hanks. It is a story about a woman who must conquer the damage done to her by toxic male culture before she can stand up for the grand principle.
This is the story, and this is why the Post gets the spotlight and people who don’t know the history will probably come away with the sense that the New York Times’ contribution pales in comparison to the Post’s. And this wouldn’t be accurate, and it’s really unfair actually.
If only Katherine Graham had been in charge of the NYT! Seriously, if I worked for the NYT at the time, I would be kind of pissed.
A very good film, though Spielberg can be a bit much. Loved the cinematography of the old typeset technology, and I would like to see a documentary as to when the major papers switched over to modern typesetting methods and the impact on the industry.
And when did Bradley Whitford get so old?!
Oh, the very ending is really cute by the way. Almost has you hoping for the sequel!

Section 1373 is an odd federal law which prohibits anyone (includes individuals as well as government) from prohibiting officers or any government official from “sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

First of all, read the ordinances and statutes carefully.  Our proposal, along with most others, focuses on abstention from the “Joint Task Forces” which involve detention of individuals beyond when they would normally be released (detainers may in fact be unconstitutional, but that’s another topic).  Ours, like others, prohibits the use of public funds for the gathering or dissemination of the information from the individual or to conduct research to that effect.  And to make it clear, our proposal, along with many others, states explicitly that the measure shall not be construed in such a way as to violate the provision, or any other federal or state law.  So no, it does not violate section 1373.

Whether section 1373 is even constitutional remains an open question.  There have been lawsuits pertaining to other federal laws which have sought to dictate the conduct of state and local officials, and states and municipalities have fought them based upon the “commandeering principle” that the federal government cannot mandate that its policies be carried out by state officials except through proper exercise of spending power (conditions may sometimes be set for federal funding of highways or other projects).  It may be that section 1373 interferes too much with how states and localities manage their employees.  So far no case which applies to this statute or immigration issues specifically.  There have been mixed results pertaining to unrelated laws/policies.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has a more detailed fact sheet on the issue.

I will probably repost these closer to the election.




As previously stated, I will be working to pass a Sanctuary County ordinance in Humboldt County. We have a kick-off meeting this Sunday afternoon if you’re interested – 3:00 pm in Room 106 of the Nelson Hall at HSU.
I’m anticipating a lot of discussion. I don’t think it would pass if we held the election tomorrow. We are going to have to win hearts and minds.
One of the arguments is that Sanctuary laws violate the Constitution because the federal government has primary jurisdiction on questions of immigration. We do not dispute that the federal government has the jurisdiction to determine and enforce the laws. But there is nothing in the law which states that states or municipalities must dedicate resources to voluntary cooperation with a federal agency. They simply cannot interfere.
The principle dates back to 1842 in the case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania which held that states could not interfere with the federal government in tracking down escaped slaves within their territory and returning “the property” to the “owners.” That was the horrific part of the decision, based upon the Constitution’s failure to recognize human rights over property rights.
But there was a positive flip side to the decision which held also that local authorities could not be compelled to assist the federal government in the enforcement of federal law. From the article below:
“Prigg v. Pennsylvania proved a pyrrhic victory for slaveholders. States might not have been able to protect refugees from slavery, but they could, and did, withdraw state cooperation. This meant that city constables and county sheriffs were instructed not to arrest suspected fugitive slaves, that state jails were closed to federal marshals who had fugitives in their custody, and that state judges would refuse to issue warrants or certificates of removal. Into the breech stepped free blacks and their white abolitionist allies, who organized protective societies and became increasingly bold in their opposition to federal law enforcement. Sanctuary cities became like fortresses.”
Unfortunately, the federal reaction was the Fugitive Slave Law which expanded the enforcement capabilities of the federal government in one of a long line of concessions generated to appease the slave states, but had the effect of being one step closer to the inevitable civil war. I liken the threats made recently by the ICE director and the reported ramping up of agents for potential large raids in California to the escalation of the Fugitive Slave Law. Fortunately it won’t lead to civil war, but it could lead to massive opposition.
Either way, sanctuary cities are not only constitutional, but punitive measure taken against them are probably unconstitutional. So far the courts have ruled as much, at least in terms of Presidential power. If Congress passes something similar to the executive order, we’ll find out.

Really pathetic.



As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we have submitted the petition to place the Sanctuary measure onto the November, 2018 ballot. I am happy to send the proposed ordinance to anyone who wants it.

We are going to start a Committee to Pass Measure ____ (when we have the letter) and the first meeting will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 28 at 3:00 p.m. on the HSU campus, Nelson Hall, Room 106. We can really use some help. Once the county is done with it, we will need to collect thousands of signatures within a couple of months!

And we could use a logo! Any artist want to volunteer?



January 2018