Category Archives: Immigration

California Wins Round One of the Sanctuary Litigation

SB 54 Sponsor Kevin de LeónCourt (mostly) denies Trump Administration’s Request for an Injunction of SB 54
by Brian Leubitz

In a 60 page decision, Federal District Judge John Mendez denied an injunction on all parts of SB 54, California’s Sanctuary State legislation relating to state and local governments. However, Judge Mendez did issue an injunction over accompanying legislation, AB 450, which dealt with private employers, and their willingness to hand over records without a warrant or allow federal immigration agents access to nonpublic areas of their businesses.

You can read the full decision here.

For the most part, the logic of the Court was that the state has no obligation to use state policing resources to provide assistance to federal immigration forces.

[The Federal Government] argues that requiring a judicial warrant or judicial finding of probable cause is irreconcilable with the INA, which establishes a system of civil administrative warrants as the basis for immigration arrest and removal. …

The Court disagrees and instead finds that California’s decision not to assist federal immigration enforcement in its endeavors is not an “obstacle” to that enforcement effort. Plaintiff’s argument that SB 54 makes immigration enforcement far more burdensome begs the question: more burdensome than what? The laws make enforcement more burdensome than it would be if state and local law enforcement provided immigration officers with their assistance. But refusing to help is not the same as impeding. If such were the rule, obstacle preemption could be used to commandeer state resources and subvert Tenth Amendment principles. Federal objectives will always be furthered if states offer to assist federal efforts. A state’s decision not to assist in those activities will always make the federal object more difficult to attain than it would be otherwise. Standing aside does not equate to standing in the way. (Page 43)

Of course, this is just a motion for a preliminary injunction, but Judge Mendez did use the opportunity to add another point about the immigration debate:

[T]his Court joins the ever-growing chorus of Federal Judges in urging our elected officials to set aside the partisan and polarizing politics dominating the current immigration debate and work in a cooperative and bi-partisan fashion toward drafting and passing legislation that addresses this critical political issue. Our Nation deserves it. Our Constitution demands it. (Page 60)

The Sanctuary State Bill Does Not Create Lawlessness

Also, Jeff Sessions is a liar

by Brian Leubitz

AG Jeff Sessions at the Values Voter Summit. Photo by Gage Skidmore
After passage of the Sanctuary State legislation (SB 54) that Gov. Brown has indicated that he will sign, US AG Jeff Sessions wasted little time in making up a few lies about it.

“This state of lawlessness allows gangs to smuggle guns, drugs and even humans across borders and around cities and communities,” [Sessions] said. “That makes a sanctuary city a trafficker, smuggler or gang member’s best friend.”(LAT 9/19/17)

Sounds scary, huh? Except that none of it is true. There is no evidence backing any part of this up. If anything, there is evidence showing that sanctuary cities are as safe or safer. Here’s the problem when you have local law enforcement actively enforcing immigration laws: you build an underclass of society that will never report crimes.

Having a permanent victim class is the real magnet for criminals, whether these criminals that prey upon them are immigrants themselves or not. It becomes far more difficult to prosecute crimes if a large part of your population hides from police. To be clear, this bill isn’t the most broad of sanctuary policies, as Brown mentioned:

“It protects public safety but it also protects hardworking people who contribute a lot to California,” Brown said in an interview on CNN. Brown had pushed for exceptions in the bill to allow jails and prisons to cooperate with immigration agents.

“We’re not soldiers of Donald Trump or the federal immigration service,” he said, adding, “The immigration people can come into our jails, they can interview people, they can pick up people they think are appropriate.”(LAT 9/19/17)

Now, debating how broad the bill should have been is probably a little late now. The bill is probably as broad as Gov. Brown would have liked it, and having the Governor out in public loudly supporting the bill in the media is going to be a good thing in the long run.

The sad part is that this is necessary. This isn’t some global calamity created by generations. This is merely a result of some outdated laws, racially-based nativism and stupid elected leaders failing to lead and pass comprehensive immigration legislation that creates a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. But Sessions’ lies are just part of that nativist game. Just keep making stuff up, and let people live in this reality where immigration is this great big problem crushing the economy rather than the real world where immigrants are imperative to the smooth operation of the economy.