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Commentary on Past Events

Scantuary State Forum May 24nd

Sheriff Royal and Supervisor Hall Rocked It

at the

 Nevada County Tea Party Forum on SB 54 on May 24!

The Nevada County Tea Party thanks Sheriff Royal and Supervisor Hall for helping an audience of 50 interested Nevada County residents to better understand SB 54.  SB 54 is a law proposed by Kevin Leon (D), the Senate Pro Tem of the California legislature to make California a Sanctuary state. 


It would prevent local law enforcement officials from fully cooperating with ICE officials regarding the handling of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes to be deported.  The panelists shared their understanding of the current writing of the legislation and their personal insights as well as the law regarding what sanctuary state status would mean for Nevada County if SB 54 becomes law. Supervisor Hall thought the law would make the process of dealing with illegal immigrants who had committed crimes more clearly defined not significantly changing what happens now. The Sheriff indicated it would make his job more difficult and would cause ICE agents to go directly into the community instead of interacting with the law enforcement officials first.  He indicated this would be much more disruptive to lives of immigrants.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has taken no official stance as a body on the issue of sanctuary status according to Supervisor Hall in response to an audience member who inquired whether the Board had made a resolution or decision on the matter.  Supervisor Hall also shared that illegal immigrants were not currently a big problem in Nevada County and the Sheriff concurred.  Sheriff Royal, when asked, “If SB 54 becomes law in California, what will you do?” he answered, “I will follow the law even if I don’t agree with it.” 

Many in the audience expressed their concerns that even if SB 54 becomes law in California, it will be unconstitutional according to the U.S. Constitution.  Sheriff Royal said, “That’s why there are courts.”  Again, there was push back from the audience indicating that the judiciary has usurped its boundaries over the past several decades and has taken on the role of making law instead of rendering opinions on the law in the cases brought before it.

Many questions were audience generated one of which was, “If SB 54 becomes law, will that draw more illegals to Nevada County thus creating a problem that currently doesn’t exist?”  Both panelists believed that there were minimal jobs to attract them, so they didn’t think a problem would be created.  Again, the audience pushed back indicating the criminal illegal immigrants are the ones we don’t want to harbor and they are probably more eager to find safe spaces than jobs and will require services.  Someone else asked the panelists, “Do you lock your doors at night at your home?”  Supervisor Hall answered, “I have a big dog, and no.”  Sheriff Royal answered, “YES!” “What about the financial impact to the state as a whole?  Wouldn’t that cause less money to flow to Nevada County?”  The panelists indicated that this is all speculation right now and it would be difficult to determine.   

Additional back and forth on this issue concluded with both of the panelists personally believing that SB 54 will ultimately not become law.  According to Sheriff Royal there are many organizations opposed to SB 54 and are lobbying against it.  Supervisor Hall believes that Governor Brown has already signed several unpopular bills lately, and that he may be pushing his luck to sign SB 54.

The NCTP regrets that other elected officials who were invited were unable to be panelists. Some had prior commitments, and one, Supervisor Scoffield, did submit a brief written statement which was read to the audience.  Both Grass Valley and Nevada City Council persons were unable to attend.  Grass Valley Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle had originally intended to participate, but she was advised against it by the GV General Council and Mayor Levine as being a “sensitive issue that might come before the council.”  Duane Strawser was not able to attend because of a regularly scheduled NC Council meeting.  It is against their policy to provide a written statement to be read without a person present to back it up. He has also indicated that SB 54 is a sensitive issue with his council.

UPDATE: The bill was introduced by State Senate President Kevin de Leon. The bill passed the Senate on September 16, 2017 27-11 on a party-line vote, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against. The bill passed the Assembly 51-26 on September 15, 2017, with all Republicans and three Democrats voting against. Then-Governor Jerry Brown helped pass the bill.

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