DOJ SUES CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR, JERRY BROWN, AND STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL OVER SANCTUARY LAWS

Earlier this afternoon a spokesman for the United States Department of Justice announced that the DOJ has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court naming California Governor, Jerry Brown and California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.

The lawsuit which challenges the legal validity of California’s so-called sanctuary laws argues that they are Unconstitutional and that they deliberately seek to obstruct justice by hindering Federal law enforcement agencies from enforcing Federal immigration laws in the state of California.

In a statement which he had prepared to deliver to a convention of  law enforcement agents and officers, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated, “The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,”

The Justice Department brought the suit against California late Tuesday, marking a notable escalation in the ongoing battle between President Trump’s administration and state and local governments over their providing sanctuaries for illegal immigrants from a crackdown on immigration enforcement at the Federal level. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges three California laws which the Trump administration claims hinder’S the enforcement of federal immigration laws and endangers the lives of federal law enforcement agents.

Governor Jerry Brown, when signing the bills into law last October, stated that they would strike “a balance that will protect public safety while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”

Those sanctuary laws provide some of the most generous protections in the U.S. for illegal immigrants who are facing deportation. The Justice Department, however; argues that they venture improperly into the enforcement of U.S. immigration law which are strictly a matter for federal authorities.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice, consider the laws to be a thinly disguised attempt to regulate federal immigration. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, the capital of California challenges three specific laws: (cite as excerpts from original bills. Read the full text in links)

SB 54, SEC. 3.

 Chapter 17.25 (commencing with Section 7284) is added to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  17.25. Cooperation with Immigration Authorities
7284.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited, as the California Values Act.

7284.2.

The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) Immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community. Almost one in three Californians is foreign-born and one in two children in California has at least one immigrant parent.
(b) A relationship of trust between California’s immigrant community and state and local agencies is central to the public safety of the people of California.
(c) This trust is threatened when state and local agencies are entangled with federal immigration enforcement, with the result that immigrant community members fear approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes, seeking basic health services, or attending school, to the detriment of public safety and the well-being of all Californians.
(d) Entangling state and local agencies with federal immigration enforcement programs diverts already limited resources and blurs the lines of accountability between local, state, and federal governments.
(e) State and local participation in federal immigration enforcement programs also raises constitutional concerns, including the prospect that California residents could be detained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, targeted on the basis of race or ethnicity in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, or denied access to education based on immigration status. See Sanchez Ochoa v. Campbell, et al. (E.D. Wash. 2017) 2017 WL 3476777; Trujillo Santoya v. United States, et al. (W.D. Tex. 2017) 2017 WL 2896021; Moreno v. Napolitano (N.D. Ill. 2016) 213 F. Supp. 3d 999; Morales v. Chadbourne (1st Cir. 2015) 793 F.3d 208; Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County (D. Or. 2014) 2014 WL 1414305; Galarza v. Szalczyk (3d Cir. 2014) 745 F.3d 634.
(f) This chapter seeks to ensure effective policing, to protect the safety, well-being, and constitutional rights of the people of California, and to direct the state’s limited resources to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter shall not be construed as providing, expanding, or ratifying any legal authority for any state or local law enforcement agency to participate in immigration enforcement.

As a result, the Justice Department says, immigration agents face greater danger in re-arresting the former prisoners once they’re back on the streets.

AB 450,  SECTION 1.  Section 7285.1 is added to the Government Code, to read:

7285.1.  (a) Except as otherwise required by federal law, an employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of a place of labor. This section does not apply if the immigration enforcement agent provides a judicial warrant.
7285.2.  (a) (1) Except as otherwise required by federal law, and except as provided in paragraph (2), an employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant.

SEC. 4.

Section 90.2 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

90.2. (a) (1) Except as otherwise required by federal law, an employer shall provide a notice to each current employee, by posting in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee, of any inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection. Written notice shall also be given within 72 hours to the employee’s authorized representative if any. The posted notice shall contain the following information:
(A) The name of the immigration agency conducting the inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records.
(B) The date that the employer received notice of the inspection.
(C) The nature of the inspection to the extent known.
(D) A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.

The Justice Department said a committee of the state legislature described the law as an effort to frustrate “an expected increase in federal immigration enforcement actions.”

— And AB 103,  CHAPTER  17.8. Housing Contracts

7310. (a) A city, county, city and county, or local law enforcement agency that does not, as of June 15, 2017, have a contract with the federal government or any federal agency to detain adult noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody, is prohibited from entering into a contract with the federal government or any federal agency, to house or detain in a locked detention facility noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody.

(b) A city, county, city and county, or local law enforcement agency that, as of June 15, 2017, has an existing contract with the federal government or any federal agency to detain adult noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody, shall not renew or modify that contract in such a way as to expand the maximum number of contract beds that may be utilized to house or detain in a locked detention facility noncitizens for purposes of civil immigration custody.
7311.

(a) A city, county, city and county, or local law enforcement agency that does not, as of June 15, 2017, have a contract with the federal government or any federal agency to house or detain any accompanied or unaccompanied minor in the custody of or detained by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement or the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement is prohibited from entering into a contract with the federal government or any federal agency to house minors in a locked detention facility.

(b) A city, county, city and county, or local law enforcement agency that, as of June 15, 2017, has an existing contract with the federal government or any federal agency to house or detain any accompanied or unaccompanied minor in the custody of or detained by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement or the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement shall not renew or modify that contract in such a way as to expand the maximum number of contract beds that may be utilized to house minors in a locked detention facility.
(c) This section does not apply to temporary housing of any accompanied or unaccompanied minor in less restrictive settings when the State Department of Social Services certifies a necessity for a contract based on changing conditions of the population in need and if the housing contract meets the following requirements:
(1) It is temporary in nature and nonrenewable on a long-term or permanent basis.
(2) It meets all applicable federal and state standards for that housing.

Interestingly enough AB 103 (22) Reads: Existing law prohibits, with some exceptions, the possession of an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine including those weapons with a detachable magazine that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool. Existing law exempts from that prohibition such a weapon that was lawfully possessed by the owner starting at any time from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2016, and is registered by that owner with the Department of Justice before January 1, 2018, but not before the effective date of specified regulations to be adopted by the department. This bill would extend the deadline to register a weapon in order to be exempted from the prohibition from January 1, 2018, to July 1, 2018.

Which seems to fly in the face of the stated intent of the California Legislature as set forth in SB 54. SEC. 3. Chapter 17.25 (commencing with Section 7284) is added to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code,  The California Values Act.

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