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Ridgecrest City Council sides with feds in sanctuary city lawsuit against California

RIDGECREST, Calif. - The Ridgecrest City Council voted to potentially join a federal lawsuit against the State of California over the legality of sanctuary cities, following debate between residents that lasted for nearly 90 minutes at Wednesday's meeting

"This council was getting ready to vote on whether it endorses hunting some of our neighbors," Ridgecrest resident Jamie Heaton said. "We know what this is. It's fascism, and it should stop. History is watching." 

Heaton was one of many in attendance at Wednesday's meeting, but his opinion was not shared by all. 

"This has nothing to do with race. This has nothing to do with the color of your skin," Ridgecrest resident Christian Catlin said. "The laws that are being passed by the State of California need to be stopped." 

The resolution, largely symbolic, states the city's intention to join the lawsuit in support of the federal government should the case be brought to an appellate court, and if the court invites them to file an amicus curiae brief. 

The resolution passed 4-1, Vice Mayor Eddie Thomas as the only dissenter, citing his own experience with prejudice as a reason for his negative vote. He is African-American.

"This concerns me. And I know most of us have never been on that side, and I don't want you to be on that side," Thomas said. "But I can tell you, take it from me, it doesn't feel good when your wife and children have to see you handcuffed while they search you, because they think that you have something wrong with you based on your ethnicity." 

Councilman Wallace Martin defended the vote, saying that the argument against the lawsuit has been misrepresented. 

"Despite much of the rhetoric nationwide, this is not a vote against proper legal immigration," Martin said. "It's not a vote against immigrants. It's not fashioned about race or discrimination. A vote does not make Ridgecrest a less-friendly city regarding visitors or immigration, or diversity. It's not a diversity bill. The vote has nothing to do with any of that. It's a vote against the additional rights of criminal illegal aliens who we are not inviting to town." 

Orange and San Diego counties have voted to support the lawsuit, with individual cities Huntington Beach and Escondido joining in


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