Group asks Board of Supervisors to make Nevada County a non-sanctuary county | TheUnion.com

Group asks Board of Supervisors to make Nevada County a non-sanctuary county

A group of Nevada County residents — angered by the recent passage of Senate Bill 54, which made California a sanctuary state and limits police agencies' ability to work with federal immigration authorities — have asked the county Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution making the local jurisdiction a "non-sanctuary" county.

The group brought its resolution to the board during public comments on Nov. 7.

Penn Valley resident Carole Bryant asked the supervisors to make Nevada County a non-sanctuary county as a "necessary reaction" and as a symbolic gesture of disapproval.

"California lawmakers have disdained the fundamental rule of law with the passage of wrongful … legislation," she said.

Calvin Clark — who led a recall drive against then-Supervisor Elizabeth Martin in 2001 — called SB 54 a "major violation, not just of the Constitution, but of the moral basis of a free society."

Clark and Jim Jacobs argued that the sanctuary state law restricts law enforcement's ability to do their job, and could lead to loss of federal funding.

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"This is not San Francisco, this is Nevada County," Jacobs said. "Let law enforcement do their job."

Shirley Hendrickson also cited concerns with flouting federal law, although she looked back to secession and a political crisis involving President Andrew Jackson and the state of South Carolina.

Chuck Frank took a different tack, expressing concern with a move toward multiculturalism that, he warned, will end in disaster.

"The Italians, the Germans, the Irish, they assimilated," Frank said. "These people coming from Syria and the Middle East, they're not interested in assimilating."

Frank suggested those immigrants have an agenda and that the supervisors need to protect the county from that agenda.

On Tuesday, Clark and Weldon Travis came back before the board, again during public comments, to press for a response to their request to have the resolution placed on the agenda.

Supervisor Hank Weston noted that the board typically does not respond to public comments, but said the resolution had gone to county counsel's office for review.

County Counsel Alison Barrett-Green said she is looking at whether the resolution is legal, adding that resolutions don't come from the public to the board very often.

Barrett-Green will make a recommendation back to the board, which will need to decide if it is appropriate and within their purview. She did not have a timeline as to when that might occur, however.

"The chair controls the agenda," Barratt-Green said. "He can schedule (the resolution if he thinks it's appropriate."

The supervisors do have a policy of not becoming involved in non-essential functions that don't affect the county's core services, she said.

At least two other counties in California have passed similar resolutions — Tehama and Siskiyou.

"I'm sure you're going to see a whole bunch fall right in line," Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, told the Redding Record-Searchlight, likening the non-sanctuary resolutions to the State of Jefferson push, an ongoing effort to gain this conservative region independent statehood.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a referendum on the controversial law has been cleared to gather signatures.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lkellar@theunion.com.