On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department said it is suing the state of California
over its sanctuary state policies, targeting three state laws it argues
interfere with federal
immigration enforcement. The federal government claims the laws, “reflect a
deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement
of federal immigration law.”
The following are the three California laws the lawsuit addresses:
SB 54 – This law prevents local law enforcement from providing information
to federal authorities about the release date of undocumented immigrants
who are in their custody and bans the transfer of those criminal immigrants
to federal custody. The federal government argues that the restrictions
on what local officials tell federal agents about a detained immigrant
violate federal law. By contrast, California argues that sharing information
about when someone will be released from jail or prison is different from
sharing information about their “immigration status” itself,
so it’s legal for the state to put restrictions on the former.
AB 103 – This law imposes a state-run inspection and review of the federal
detention of immigrants held in facilities pursuant to federal contracts
and includes a review of immigration processes and the circumstances in
which immigrants were apprehended. The lawsuit argues that where immigrants
are detained is a “law-enforcement decision,” and California
is improperly interfering with it.
AB 450 – This law prohibits private employers from cooperating with federal
immigration officials and requires that employers notify workers in advance
of a potential work site enforcement inspection. The federal government
are suing to strike down provisions which prevent employers from letting
ICE agents access “nonpublic areas” of the workplace during
raids, or giving ICE agents access to employee records without a judicial warrant.
Simply put, California passed laws that are designed to stop the federal
government from enforcing its laws, and that is not permissible under
the “Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution. The Justice
Department believes that the state “has no lawful interest in assisting
removable aliens to evade federal law enforcement.” California,
however, claims that it does, arguing that protecting the safety and wellbeing
of state residents means forcing ICE to meet higher standards of due process
before engaging in actions that can have an impact not only on authorized
immigrants, but legal immigrants and U.S. citizens.
For more information,
contact our Santa Barbara immigration attorney at
Appel & Morse today.