Everyone knows the Riverside Press-Enterprise is in the bag for Stan Sniff. They transferred a reporter with tenure out to another county for a weak story about Lt. Chad Bianco being retaliated against by Sniff. So, when a recent story came out, I was not surprised to see them let Sniff avoid answering tough questions. Sniff is well-known for being unable to deviate from a script and for his fairly extreme attempts to control forums and circumstances.
We have taken the liberty to do the Riverside Press-Enterprise’s Job For them.
There appears to be little to no sentiment among Riverside or San Bernardino County supervisors to follow Orange County’s lead in joining a federal lawsuit against California over state laws intended to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, who chairs his county’s Board of Supervisors, said Monday, April 2, that he’s not planning to put the matter on the board’s agenda “and none of my colleagues have asked me to do so.”
Washington, a Democrat, said that Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, a Republican in name only, has told him he’s able to run his department without violating federal law, and “that is adequate, to my way of thinking.”
It appears that Stan Sniff’s Riverside Sheriff’s department has violated federal law several times, including refusing to honor detainer requests from ICE. This calls in to question Sniff’s claims about following federal law.
San Bernardino County supervisors did not respond to requests for comment.
San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said that supervisors “(haven’t) taken any positions on this matter. It didn’t come up during (Tuesday)’s board meeting, and the board isn’t scheduled to get together again until April 17. There currently aren’t any plans to discuss it then, either.”
Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last October, SB 54, also known as the California Values Act or the “sanctuary state” law, puts new limits on state and local law enforcement’s ability to help the federal government enforce immigration law. 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.
The law is part of a larger effort by California’s elected Democratic leadership to defy President Donald Trump’s policies, especially his crackdown on illegal immigration. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew to Sacramento last month to announce federal litigation against SB 54 and two other laws on the grounds they violate the U.S. Constitution.
To the cheers of those opposed to illegal immigration, Orange County supervisors voted unanimously March 27 to join the federal lawsuit. The Los Alamitos City Council voted to exempt that city from SB 54, the city of Yorba Linda filed a friend-of-the-court brief on the lawsuit’s behalf and Huntington Beach plans to sue California over SB 54.
“Have their hands full”
The Inland Empire political landscape is more purple than red. While the region is home to some of California’s most conservative politicians, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have pluralities of Democratic voters and both counties went to Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the last two presidential elections.
In February, Riverside County supervisors voted 5-0 for a resolution supporting bipartisan legislation to continue protections for so-called “Dreamers” – undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The resolution also called for border security enhancements, improved employment screenings and deportations of non-citizen felons as part of any bill to let Dreamers stay.
In 2013, the board unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.
“The federal government is responsible for enforcing immigration laws, not local law enforcement,” Ashley said. “Local officers have their hands full enforcing state and local laws and keeping our families safe. They don’t have the resources to take on federal responsibilities, and doing so would compromise their ability to effectively discharge their existing responsibilities.”
Ashley added that the sheriff “should give timely notice to federal law enforcement before releasing dangerous felons into the community.”
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, a Republican and former state assemblyman, said Sniff, the sheriff, has not complained about SB 54.
“If the sheriff believes the state sanctuary law is harming his ability to protect our communities because it adversely impacts his ability manage the jail population and to cooperate with (federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement) regarding undocumented felons, and he would like the board’s assistance in fighting the law, we would certainly consider joining the lawsuit,” Jeffries said.
“But given the divided results of our last immigration discussion on the board, I’m not confident that we would find agreement to sue the state.”
Sniff declined to comment, saying the decision to join the lawsuit is up to the board with the advice of county counsel. At a sheriff’s candidate forum in late March, Sniff, who is running for re-election this June, said his department follows state law and cooperates with federal immigration enforcement officers pursuant to SB 54.
We did not contact any of the other candidates for Sheriff for comment on this issue as we are in the bag for Sheriff Sniff or are afraid of getting re-assigned to another county if we tell the truth. This reporter enjoys working in Riverside County, as such, there was no follow up as to why Sheriff Sniff ducked a seemingly easy question.
Lt. Sarkis Ohannessian, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said the department “will follow the law until such time it is no longer in effect, repealed or halted by the courts.”
Staff Writer Joe Nelson contributed to this report.
This article has been modified from its original version to clarify the facts about our bias and Stan Sniff’s real record on illegal immigration.
Your Intrepid Blogger will continue monitoring the local media.