|Douglas V. Gibbs being interviewed by KMIR.
Local Tea Party President Glenn Stull stands in the background
holding the yellow sign.
On Tuesday Night, April 17, 2018, I arrived at the City of Beaumont’s City Hall at about 4:15 pm. The city council meeting was scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm. I arrived with my very good friend, President of the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party, Glenn Stull. From a media point of view, the first on the scene was NBC KMIR out of Palm Springs, who interviewed both Glenn Stull, and I.
SB 54 makes it illegal for county or municipal peace officers to do any of the following:
SB 54 also mandates that schools, health facilities, libraries and courthouses serve as “safe zones,” where undocumented immigrants can come and go without risk of detention.
SB 54 was an expansion of Assembly Bill 4, the so-called “Trust Act” of 2013, which prohibits honoring federal detainer requests, specifically for foreigners arrested or suspected of minor offenses.
The ACLU and other pro-amnesty groups never materialized to stand against us on the sidewalk. While we were outside with signs and flags, they were packing the seating at the city council meeting inside. Only a few of our group were able to land seats in the city council chambers. I wound up sitting, at first, in the overflow room, watching the city council meeting on a video screen from across the hall.
We were advised during the public comments portion of the meeting that the speakers from the audience would be picked randomly, and then they proceeded to choose only one name off of the list of folks opposing S.B. 54, out of a dozen and a half speakers. Glenn Stull pointed out the lopsided nature of the commenting, but the mayor assured him that the City Clerk had been instructed to pick names randomly.
When it was my turn to speak, in addition to my own constitutional presentation, I asked a question. Did you lock your door when you left your home, tonight? Why? Do you not trust and love everyone outside of your home? The fact is, we know that there are bad people out there, so we lock our doors. We don’t lock our doors because we hate everyone outside of our home, but because we love everyone inside our home.
Assembly candidate Andrew Kotyuk, after finishing his own city council meeting down the hill in San Jacinto where he is a councilmember, appeared at the podium to give his presentation, which included a myriad of statistics regarding the crimes committed by illegal aliens, and the unsustainable costs to cities and the State as they are associated with the crisis.
Agnes Gibboney, an Angel Mom whose son was killed by a previously deported illegal alien, gave her tear-inducing testimony with a firm reference on other cases of deaths as a result of the presence of illegal aliens in our communities, including, but not limited to, Kate Steinle who was murdered in San Francisco, yet her murderer was set free by a liberal left court in the name of San Francisco’s sanctuary status.
Each of the presentations in support of Beaumont opting out of S.B. 54 were impactful, and laced with facts, statistics, and constitutional law – as opposed to the emotional pleas by the liberal left who were crying for Beaumont to defy the rule of law.
Councilman Lloyd White was the member of the Beaumont City Council who placed the issue on the agenda, and he later proposed a resolution (written by the city attorney, but I recognized a couple small elements in it from my ordinance) to the members of the city council to consider. While slightly watered down, the resolution essentially stated that the City of Beaumont takes a position on the matter of standing against S.B. 54. Each of the members of the council gave statements regarding what they thought about the resolution, and then they took a vote that surprised everyone by the time it was over.
Councilman Lara was the first to speak about the resolution. He verbalized his concern about the inability of local law enforcement being able to share information with federal agencies as a result of S.B. 54. As a result of that matter, it makes the sanctuary status issue a public safety issue. He also recognized the argument that had been used often by the public comments participants, which is that S.B. 54 violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, and since he is required to uphold the Constitution, he stated he supported the resolution.
Councilman Martinez said he was proud of the fact that so many people were at the meeting. He always appreciates community involvement. However, he stated he saw the issue as being a partisan issue, and he had no desire to be involved in partisan politics. If the issue is a partisan issue, he said, “the city should not take a position in the battle between the State and the federal government.” He then suggested that the best action to take would be to wait for a judicial decision. In the end, he said, he saw “no relevance in continuing the discussion.”
Councilman White, when it was his turn to speak on the matter, reminded the audience that it was him who placed the item on the agenda because he wanted all citizens to be able to comment on the issue. He stated he believed the issue of sanctuary status to not be about immigration as much as it is about protecting criminals, and defying the rule of law. There are consequences for not following the rule of law, he explained. “S.B. 54 protects foreign criminals.” He advised the audience that the crimes being committed by illegal aliens, and then ignored as a result of S.B. 54 and other California policies, would not be acceptable in any other arena. If the crimes by illegal aliens had been committed by them on foreign soil, “they would not have been allowed in the United States in the first place.” White echoed Lara’s concern that sanctuary status is a public safety issue, and Beaumont needs to allow local law enforcement to coordinate with federal agencies. In the long run, he said, S.B. 54 “makes law-abiding citizens less safe.”
White referred the audience to “google” Rodney Scott of the U.S. Border Patrol. Mr. Scott is the Border Patrol San Diego Sector’s chief agent, and he is siding with the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the State of California.
White also explained that Beaumont’s current police department policy is not to ask immigration status. The local police are tasked with serving the entire community. If the person is a criminal, however, and if during various procedures, after fingerprinting, their immigration status comes up, it must be the responsibility of local law enforcement to coordinate with federal agencies.
According to White, the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. “I swore to uphold it first and foremost.” He then explained he also swore an oath to the California constitution, but it is secondary. S.B. 54 creates a conflict, and since the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, “I must uphold the U.S. Constitution.”
|From left to right: White, Martinez, Carroll, Lara, and Santos|
Councilman Santos stated he used to run a business in East Los Angeles, and he respectfully “did not ask for papers.” He stated he respects all citizens and all immigrants who work hard and respect the United States of America. However, by the time his verbal gymnastics were completed, the room was no more wiser regarding where he stood on the issue, than before he began speaking. A person in the audience even shouted out, “we still don’t know where you stand on the issue.” Santos remained quiet, tight lipped, and mysterious.
I jotted in my notes he was likely a “no” on opting out of S.B. 54.
Mayor Carroll, the lone woman on the council, said she wanted to remain as non-partisan as possible. She was not going to voice her opinion on the matter, either. She thanked the audience for their participation, stating that “Your voice is important.” She realized that issues like the supremacy clause were an important part of the discussion, but because she’s “not an attorney,” it was not her place to decide the legal implications of the law. According to Carroll, “it’s a legal issue, and we are not lawyers. We have no jail in Beaumont so we are not releasing criminals. Therefore, it does not affect Beaumont. There is no there, there. It doesn’t apply to us.” She stated she believed the whole issue, and the reason so many people appeared to speak on the issue, was because of fear. She said it all was “fear driven.” She added, “I wish there was something I could do to take away that fear. . . I can’t.” She then began to talk about the dangers of “States’ Rights,” comparing this issue to slavery, and the American Civil War.
She then went into “democracy” mode, indicating if you are “against S.B. 54, go at it. Put it on the ballot. . . at the State level, not at the city.”
“We don’t have the right to decide if the federal law is over the line or if the State is over the line. It’s not a city issue. . . I am not the Supreme Court.”
My first thought was, “if you have no right to decide if something is legal or constitutional, why are you sitting on the dais, and why did you swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution?”
Lloyd White chimed in at this point, stating that “S.B. 54 was not the will of the voters. . . it should have gone to a ballot in the first place. Same thing happened with the gas tax.”
Councilman White then made a motion. He moved that the city council takes a position in opposition of S.B. 54.
He then read a resolution written by the City Attorney. It had a few elements of my ordinance, but was watered down in ways I wouldn’t have been willing to do. Nonetheless, aside from its use of the word “democracy”, which always bothers me because I know for a fact we are a republic, it sounded like a step in the right direction.
Councilman Lara, impressing upon the audience the need to ensure the safety of local law enforcement by ensuring coordination between Beaumont Police and federal authorities, seconded the motion.
Councilman Martinez stated that if he were to support the item now being discussed it would make him a “hypocrite.”
The City Attorney explained that the resolution is a position, but “will not change anything with the law.”
Then the voting commenced. White voted “yes.” Martinez voted “no.” Carroll voted “no.” Lara voted “yes.”
Now, it all came down to Councilman Rey Santos.
I was pretty sure, at this point, that once Santos voted “no,” Councilman White had another rabbit in his bag of tricks. Likely, he would motion that the matter be put on the ballot for the voters of Beaumont to decide it. Surely, the less than constitution-abiding members who voted “no” would go for that.
As I was thinking about the next move, Santos slowly made his decision, and said, “yes.”
Did I hear that clearly?
The resolution to adopt a position against S.B. 54 had passed by a vote of 3-2, with Councilman Santos surprising everyone in the room, including his fellow councilmembers.
Beaumont had just been added to the long list of California cities (and counties) opting out of S.B. 54, California’s Sanctuary State law, and I was very proud to be a part of it, and a part of the Tea Party group that made it happen.
I also have noticed that it is mostly Southern California cities and counties opposing Sacramento, of which are closer to the border, and more impacted by the troubles associated with illegal aliens, and the sanctuary status law, S.B. 54, of which the capitol in the north has imposed upon the entire State of California.
The room remained silent, but we were mentally pumping our fists in victory. The overflow room, however, did not keep decorum, and from across the hall we could hear the cheer and roar of approval.
The whole thing is not over, yet. The language of the resolution still has to be adjusted, and will seek final approval at the next council meeting, of which, I am of no doubt, the Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party will be there.
Saturday Morning at 8:00 am, on KMET 1490 AM radio, I will be hosting the Tea Party’s radio program, “Conservative Voice Radio.” We will be, I am sure, enthusiastically talking about what transpired on Tuesday Night, and what’s next for the Tea Party, and the region the City of Beaumont resides in.
I can’t wait for the Tea Party’s Tuesday Morning Breakfast Meeting at 8:00 am at the Farm’s House Restaurant in Banning. That will be a very informative, and fun-filled meeting.
But, victories are fleeting. There is still much work to do, and we are ready for the next issue.
Bring it on!
— Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary