The Trump administration has gone right to the Supreme Court to stop California’s migrant sanctuary law, which broadly prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
The legal battle over the California Values Act, or SB 54, is ideologically mixed up and it features a conservative administration arguing for strong federal power against California liberals making a states-rights defense.
“The federal government has plenary and exclusive power over immigration, naturalization and deportation,” the government’s case to the high court reads. “The supremacy of the national power in this area is made clear by the Constitution, was pointed out by the authors of The Federalist in 1787, and has been given continuous recognition by this Court.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in April.
Three parts of SB 54 are at stake in the case. The law keeps state officials from: sharing information about a person’s release from custody with immigration agents; sharing personal information like physical descriptions or employment history; and transferring individuals to immigration authorities without a court warrant. The law does not apply to certain violent criminals.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued about 58,000 immigration detainers in California in fiscal year 2019. But without California’s cooperation, federal immigration agents must stake out state jails and await the release of non-citizens, then make public arrests.
“The practical consequences of California’s obstruction are not theoretical; as a result of SB 54, criminal aliens have evaded the detention and removal that Congress prescribed, and have instead returned to the civilian population, where they are disproportionately likely to commit additional crimes,” the government’s petition reads.
The Trump administration is relying on a liberal Supreme Court decision to make its case, in keeping with the ideological role-reversals that permeate the dispute.
The president lashed out at so-called sanctuary cities when he addressed a conference of police chiefs in Chicago on Monday. Though he did not mention the California case directly, he said the most “dangerous, shameful attacks on the rule of law” come from sanctuary jurisdictions.
The case is No. 19-532 U.S. v. California.
Credit: Daily Caller