Sanctuary State? Count Los Alamitos Out.

All eyes were on the Los Alamitos City Council chambers last night, where more than 150 people gathered to support or oppose an ordinance exempting the city from California's sanctuary state law. After more than two hours of public debate, the council voted 4-1 to bow out from Senate Bill 54, which limits local agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It also directed the city attorney to file an amicus brief supporting the federal government’s lawsuit challenging the sanctuary legislation.

Attendees cheered and began shouting “USA!” Those opposed expressed sadness, anger, and fear over what they called "open bigotry" in the United States. 

Councilman Mark Chirco cast the lone no vote Monday. There are plenty of things Sacramento does that the city doesn’t agree with, the councilman said, but he worried this move could result in costly litigation.

It’s not even clear if the litigation would be worth it for opponents of sanctuary policies.

"Is it going to hold up? I don't know," said Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto.

But the message it sends means everything, added Mayor Troy Edgar. “As the mayor of Los Alamitos, we are not a sanctuary city.”

Edgar hopes other cities will soon follow suit.

The law is now headed for a second reading on April 16. A majority of the council is expected to vote in favor again.

Read more about Monday’s vote, including reactions from immigration advocates, at the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times