Butte County drafting resolution opposing sanctuary state laws

The Butte County Board of Supervisors is poised to pass a resolution that states its opposition to sanctuary state laws that prevent many illegal immigrants from being reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Steve Lambert, who represents District 4 and is the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, instructed staff to draw up the resolution which will be ready by their next meeting on April 24. Lambert believes all five board members will support the resolution.

Lambert is frustrated with how the county is caught in the middle between federal and state laws, which he says puts Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea in a difficult situation.

"The federal government says we've got these people who are illegals, and we have the state government saying you can't report that," said Lambert.

"Who does (Honea) report to?" asked Lambert. "The federal government or the state government?"

Honea told KRCR that when Senate Bill 54 goes into effect next year it's likely fewer illegal immigrants who commit crimes will be reported to ICE.

Honea said that if SB 54 was in effect last year, only 13 of the 34 bookings of illegal immigrants in Butte County would be reported to ICE because starting next year only illegal immigrants who commit "violent" or "serious" crimes will be reported. Honea said that repeat DUI and burglary offenders would not fit this definition and would therefore not be reported to ICE.

Lambert, however, said the county is not prepared to join a federal lawsuit against the state to put an end to sanctuary cities altogether.

He acknowledged that there is "a concern in the back of our minds" that municipalities that take part in that lawsuit could run the risk of losing state funding in a form of retaliation.

Lambert wouldn't say if he thinks that would or would not happen, only that he hopes it doesn't.

Lambert added that the county's concern isn't all illegal immigrants, but only those who pose, what he considers, a threat to public safety.

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