By Sandra Emerson | semerson@scng.com | Redlands Daily Facts
Published: April 24, 2018 at 7:37 am | UpdatedD: April 25, 2018 at 12:04 am

After a heated five hours of public testimony, the Upland City Council directed its attorney to file a supporting brief in a coastal city’s lawsuit against California’s controversial sanctuary state law.

The move is meant to seek clarification for the Upland Police Department on its cooperation with federal authorities, officials said, not an attempt to increase immigration enforcement in the city.

More than 80 people spoke out Monday, April 23, some urging the city to comply with Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, and others encouraging leaders to take a stand against it. Attendees clashed throughout the night, causing numerous disruptions that led some to be escorted out of the council chambers.

The meeting, which started at 7 p.m. Monday, wrapped up around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“I believe our police force needs our support more than ever,” said Mayor Debbie Stone. “I believe that they have got so many issues and so many challenges that they have to fight on a daily basis to protect us. Do I agree with what was said here tonight? To be very honest with you, no. I said it before and I’ll say it again. It broke my heart to see how you guys acted toward each other. That’s not the city of Upland. That’s not how we operate.”

Stone, and council members Carol Timm, Gino Filippi and Sid Robinson voted in favor of filing a brief in support of a lawsuit the city of Huntington Beach plans to file against the state. Councilwoman Janice Elliott voted against it.

The debate over whether the city should take a position on SB 54, which puts new limits on state and local law enforcement’s ability to help the federal government enforce immigration law, began before the council meeting, as it has in communities across the region.

Specifically, the state law prohibits police in California from helping immigration officers detain immigrants accused of most non-violent crimes, though police remain cooperative with federal authorities when it comes to holding people accused of violent crimes, multiple drug and alcohol offenses and hundreds of other exceptions.
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