By this time we’ve all become used to a familiar pattern in certain blue states, particularly California. The President enacts some new policy in keeping with his agenda and someone immediately sues the White House, finding a judge willing to issue an injunction to halt the enactment of the policy while the case grinds its way through the courts. This has been particularly true when it comes to all matters relating to immigration and border control. At this point, California has more lawsuits going than you can keep track of without a custom app on your phone.
It seems that turnabout is fair play, however. Today the Justice Department will be announcing that the federal government is suing the state of California over three laws they’ve recently passed, all of which were designed to #RESIST the President and make it more difficult for immigration enforcement officials to do their jobs. (NBC News)
The Justice Department sued California late Tuesday, escalating the battle between the Trump administration and local governments over the issue of providing sanctuaries from a crackdown on immigration enforcement.
The lawsuit, which also names Gov. Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, challenges three recently passed state laws that the Trump administration says hinder enforcement of federal immigration law and endanger federal agents.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the lawsuit Wednesday at an annual gathering of law enforcement organizations in Sacramento.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Sessions said in remarks prepared for delivery to the law enforcement convention.
The three bills under discussion are some of the worst of the worst in terms of hindering federal law enforcement. SB 54 is the one which prevents law enforcement officials from notifying ICE when they have a criminal illegal alien in their custody and bars them from transferring such aliens to federal custody. AB 450 digs even deeper into the social fabric by forbidding private employers from cooperating with immigration enforcement and instructs them to warn their employees before an upcoming ICE inspection.
The last one is AB 103, which the linked NBC News report describes in fairly harmless terms as simply “requiring the state to inspect detention facilities.” But that’s disingenuous. The real harm in AB 103 is that it, “prohibit(s) a city or county or local law enforcement agency from… entering into a contract with the federal government or any federal agency to house or detain an adult noncitizen in a locked detention facility for purposes of civil immigration custody.”
All of these laws seek to make state regulations supersede the Federal government’s responsibility to enforce immigration law. Some go even further than that in terms of legality. It can easily be argued that AB 450 places employers in a position where they would have to violate federal law by potentially warning illegal aliens of an upcoming ICE inspection, thereby “harboring or shielding from detection” an illegal alien. So this is more than a simple case of running afoul of the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2), which they clearly do as well.
It will serve as some sort of ironic justice if Trump can get a judge to issue an injunction against these California laws and prevent them from being enforced until the case is resolved. As I said above… apparently two can play at this game. It’s just a pity that it has to come to this. The states are actually supposed to be supporting the federal government when it’s enforcing the law as required by the Constitution.