Camarillo Punts on SB54 Sanctuary State

Photo: Marc Langsam

By George Miller

After months of pressure from dueling factions on SB54, The “Sanctuary State” bill, or officially, “The California Values Act,” the Camarillo City Council voted to do, well, basically nothing, unanimously 6-0. The City Attorney Brian Pierik summarized a lengthy report, which contained recommended options ranging from doing nothing, to supporting SB 54, to opposing it just by resolution (which they had already done before it was passed) and actually joining litigation. There was no opt-out option offered.

Approximately 200 people showed up for the meeting and overflowed the spacious City Council chambers. Those numbers declined significantly in the wee hours and as people had said their piece and left, not waiting for the meeting conclusion.

Approximately 45 Cities and several Counties have come out against SB54 in one form or another, according to immigration activist Arthur Schaper, who was present. The City Attorney said it was about 22. After checking, it appears that Schaper is more accurate. According to an LA Times article last Sunday, approximately 20 cities have come out in support of the legislation, Several cities have voted for neutrality. Thursday morning, at about 12:50 AM, Camarillo went that route too.

Meeting AGENDA– SB54 materials start on page 253. Video link will follow.

Retiring Sheriff Geoff Dean speaks on SB54 situation at the request of Camarillo Mayor Charlotte Craven, at 5-23-18 meeting. Photo: George Miller/

When it became apparent that the Council wasn’t going to oppose SB54, opponents started filing out, some shouting “Coward” loudly while doing so. SB54 advocates joyously applauded the vote. Councilman Mike Morgan said he preferred the option #4 opposition resolution, but ultimately voted with the pack.


Metamorphis of a bill

So, how did this happen? Camarillo was actually the only city in the county to formalize its opposition, in a toothless, but symbolic resolution last year, before the bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Sheriff Geoff Dean also went on record opposing it as a hazard to public safety which would make it harder to do his job. The state Sheriffs Association also opposed it, while the Police Chiefs Assn dropped objections after it had been watered down somewhat by Gov. Brown and the Sacramento legislature. Local state legislators- AD44 Jacqui Irwin, AD27 Henry Stern, AD37 Monique Limon, State Senator SD19 Hannah-Beth Jackson, all voted for it, but not State Senator Scott Wilk. It was pretty much a party line vote, but with two Democrats opposing it.

SB 54 was signed into law on 10-5-17, after much committee work, public comment and attempts to make it more palatable to reluctant Democrats opposing it. Virtually all Republicans steadfastly opposed it.

On 3-6-18 the federal government sued California, claiming that not only SB54, but AB450 and AB103 were unconstitutional, in that they were impeding the U.S. from enforcing federal immigration law. All this is covered in detail in the City Attorney’s report. The DOJ has also filed for a preliminary injunction, claiming that SB54 enforcement is causing “irreparable harm” and that enforcement must be stopped until legality is adjudicated.

Existing federal Sb54 litigation


The state claims that the federal govt. is not being impeded and harm is not resulting (in fact they claim benefits), although it has drastically restricted access, needed information, use of systems, facilities, prohibiting police and schools cooperation in most instances and even blocking retainers for some crimes and making it generally really hard for ICE to do its job.

Multiple municipalities have filed suit, such as Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach. Others have filed various amicus briefs or joinders to existing litigation.

At the 4-25-18 meeting, the Council instructed the City Attorney to research the situation and provide a report and options for council action. This was done at the 5-23-18 meeting covered in this article.


Public Comment

The Mayor said she received 103 speaker cards, with 95 actually speaking at 2 minutes allocated apiece, an endurance contest for the Council and intrepid attendees who went the distance. There were also dozens of written comments submitted and many beforehand by email or telephone.

A majority of speakers supported the bill. Advocates were well-organized, with CAUSE, LULAC, Indivisible and various other religious and activist groups getting out the numbers. While some stressed protection of “immigrants,” the main talking points/tone was set by CAUSE and its supporters, which, one after the other, attacked opponents as “racist, anti-immigrant agitators.” It also accused the Simi Valley Council, which came out against SB 54, of participating in “hate” and “decided to side with hate and the Trump administration.”  Note that it uses talking points attempting to brand and demonize the opposition. CAUSE had sent out this bulletin:

A large minority opposed SB54, alleging that it is unconstitutional, dangerous, expensive, with wildly varying estimates of how much. Tough to quantify something which isn’t being counted. In spite of being called racist, the more loosely affiliated opposition well- represented both sexes (they only recognize two), various nationalities, ethnicities and colors, some sputtering mad about the advocates’ blanket, name-calling accusations.

It appeared that opposition points focused on the threat of dangerous criminal illegal aliens and unconstitutional violations of federal immigration laws. None at all expressed any opposition to immigrants and just a few to illegal aliens or illegal immigrants in general.

As big as this crowd of SB54 opponents looked, there were more advocates at the 5-23-18 Camarillo Council meeting. Photo: Marc Langsam.

As time permits, we’ll insert summaries of some of the speakers messages here ….


These were the options prepared for Council by the City Attorney Brian Pierik (Council voted for#1):

A. Report on SB 54 – California Values Act
Provide information regarding SB 54, how SB 54 impacts the City of Camarillo, and the
options available to the City in regard to SB 54.
Suggested Action: Consider one or more of the following options:
1. Receive and file this Report pending judgments issued by the courts and allowing
the Ventura County Sheriff Department to continue its current practices in regard to
the California Values Act.
2. Adopt a Resolution confirming the City will comply with the judgments issued by the
courts and allowing the Ventura County Sheriff Department to continue its current
practices in regard to the California Values Act.
3. Adopt a Resolution in support of the California Values Act.
4. Adopt a Resolution in opposition to the California Values Act
5. Direct City Attorney to submit an amicus (“friend of the court”) letter or brief to the
Federal Court stating that the City supports the California Values Act.
6. Direct City Attorney to submit an amicus (“friend of the court”) letter or brief to the
Federal Court stating that the City opposes the California Values Act.
7. Direct the City Attorney to prepare and file a lawsuit challenging the California
Values Act.
8. Other action as deemed appropriate by the City Council.


George Miller is Publisher and Co-Founder of and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard

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13 Responses to Camarillo Punts on SB54 Sanctuary State

  1. Bruce Boyer May 29, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I was there the entire time; so for those who suggest anyone was called a ‘wetback’ no that was not said by any public speaker. how about you watch and listen it’s all recorded; tell me when anyone said it? You know you are spreading slander. As to “the finger’ I was directly behind the flipper f I clearly saw it;, and thought’ wow is she rude” when I saw it. Whet the Rebels are not saying is how many naturalized American Citizens spoke against SB54. Does it matter whether it is Hector Tony, Mandy or one of the others? No. Only to them does it matter what ‘racial stereotype” that they want to apply.
    The Council wimped out. Sanctuary State is Rebellion and paying taxpayer Money to the Rebels of VCSD is supporting it. The Rebellion will be defeated; not yet but it will be. If I get elected as Sheriff on Nov 6th it will end the day I take office; Jan 9th. All Illegals in the County will be turned over to ICE, or at least any of the 100,000 who think that I am kidding and are still here on Jan 9th.

  2. John White May 27, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Regarding civility I personally observed one of the SB 54 supporters(a brunette haired woman) giving a middle finger for a long time to a opponent right after she returned to her seat after addressing the council.

  3. Jeffrey Burum May 26, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    I did not agree with council members were conflicted with state vs federal law. Article 6 of the Constitution is not only clear that federal laws and the Constitution are supreme, but that each officer who takes their oath, agrees to support and defend the Constitution. So do all law officers, so SB54 creates chaos within the various law enforcement branches.
    It would be easy for me to terminate Sanctuary entities in Congress because they are illegal, immoral, and in Constitutional. I believe the House, without Brownleys support passed such a bill and it is waiting in the Senate. Of course, the US DOJ complaint is stuck in court for now for maybe two years. More chaos and dysfunction, by design, such as SB54, are the left’s tactics. Does this encourage vigilantism like in the 1970s?

  4. Laura Espinosa May 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Speakers were called “Wetbacks” and told
    ” go home to Mexico”. Where was the meeting decorum? This was not mentioned in your article.

    • Citizen Reporter May 26, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Well, Ms.Espinosa, it’s included now in your comment. I did not hear that from where I was sitting or would have included it. As any sentient being should know by now, the vast majority of Sb54 opponents are not opposed to immigration, think illegal aliens should apply for residency and do not want criminal illegal aliens here at all.

      Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

      • Rudy May 28, 2018 at 10:44 am

        So in response to Ms. Espinosa first hand account is to be condescending and dismissive to her claim unlike the comment above of a “Brunette Hair Women” giving the middle finger to opponents? Could it be that you witnessed the “finger” but not the “wetbacks” comment (or ignored)? Or could it be that being a “sentient being” doesn’t apply to those that feel that this whole “illegal ailien” bashing is nothing more than hype by Trump to stir up fears for his own gain? I can point to reasons why this anger is pointed at the wrong direction but that’s a discussion for another day. You have my email, feel free.

        • Citizen Reporter May 28, 2018 at 10:06 pm

          Your paranoia is showing. We did not “dismiss” her at all, nor did we write about the nasty things said by pro SB54 folks. I did not see the middle finger act, either. There were about 200 people present. Will send you an email, since I have your permission.

  5. R May 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    It;s not too late. Let’s flood them with emails telling them how disappointed we are and that we will NOT be voting for them! Also, let them know that their vote has been marked and they will be held liable when the first angel falls in Camarillo. Literally, the blood is on their HANDS!

  6. Steve Wade May 25, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Disappointed in the council and law enforcement. But not surprised. Remember these are criminal aliens

  7. Jean Kohut May 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I brought three mainstream media articles with facts concerning ice sweeps in our local cities and the arrests of illegal alien felons in our own communities by ICE. Four of these arrests of criminal illegal felons were in Camarillo. I introduced City Council to Jose Baca through a CBS News LA/AP article. Mr. Baca was arrested on charges of rape of a 13 year old and continuing abuse of a minor. Sadly, Mr. Baca was not turned over to ICE because of SB54. He was released with a return court date. He never showed and whereabouts unknown. I assume Mr. Baca’s story meant nothing to City Council nor the pro Activists of SB54. If Mr. Baca and his type roam our communities committing heinous acts on children their sufferings is on City Council and the Pro SB54 activists. They could have done the right thing.

  8. William Hicks May 24, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    To do nothing is doing something. What the city council actually did was to ignore their oath to the United States Constitution and codify State of California Unconstitutional Law over Constitutional Federal Law.

  9. Manuela Walter May 24, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    This is a sad day for the law-abiding residents of Camarillo. The City Council basically “wimped out” at last night’s Council meeting regarding SB 54, the CA Sanctuary State Law, citing that it is not a “municipality issue.” Isn’t the safety of Camarillo residents and law enforcement officers a municipality issue? Councilmember and former law enforcement officer Mike Morgan was supportive of adopting a resolution in opposition to SB 54, but ultimately voted with the others. The Council took the easy way out and voted to file their report “pending judgments issued by the courts and allowing the Ventura County Sheriff Department to continue its current practices in regard to the California Values Act.” This is an open invitation to illegal alien felons that Camarillo is a “safe” place to live, work, and commit additional crimes. Shame on you Camarillo City Council for putting us all at risk. Why didn’t you adopt a resolution in opposition to SB 54 and show Camarillo residents, the county, the state, and the nation, that Camarillo supports law and order, the Constitution, and will NOT be open to illegal alien felons.

    To the supporters of SB 54, as many of the speakers last night stated, SB 54 is NOT an immigration issue. SB 54 is a PUBLIC SAFETY issue. You better pray that an illegal alien felon that should have been detained by ICE does not commit a crime against you and your families and loved ones and if it happens, I bet you will be singing a much different tune. Also, if any residents or law enforcement officers are injured (or worse) by an illegal alien felon in Camarillo, who should have been detained by ICE while still incarcerated, this is on YOU. The Camarillo City Council must also accept responsibility if this occurs.

    I am also sick and tired of so-called “progressives”, calling anyone who disagrees with them a “racist”. I think you need to take a good long introspective look in the mirror and examine your own actions and words. You might find that YOU are exhibiting this behavior.

  10. Robin Hvidston May 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

    It is unfortunate the city council voted in opposition to public safety. SB 54 protects criminal aliens.


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