Legal Assault Mounted Against California’s Sanctuary Policies
April 9, 2018 Katie J. Read
‘Laws like [these] are not only flagrantly unconstitutional but extremely dangerous…’
The Immigration Law Reform Institute came down hard Friday on California’s sanctuary city laws by filing a motion and an amicus brief (“friend of the court”) in opposition to the policies.
The Institute weighed in on a Department of Justice lawsuit filed last month against the Golden State on the grounds that the policies are unconstitutional, by restricting the federal government’s ability to enforce immigration laws.
The Institute announced that it condemned the “The California Values Act” and “The Immigrant Worker Protection Act” on Friday in a news release.
IRLI acted on behalf of the National Sheriffs’ Association, Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, and Fight Sanctuary State, a group dedicated to fight sanctuary policies.
“Elected officials in California are free to name their bills ‘The California Values Act’ and the like, but the federal government and the Constitution speak for Californians on matters of immigration,” Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI, said in the release.
The brief claims that California’s policies “directly interfere with federal enforcement of immigration law, even in ways that invite armed confrontations between state and federal officers.”
It also claims that California doesn’t have the right to pass sanctuary policies because it contradicts the Tenth Amendment.
It also argues that the The California Values Act is unconstitutional because the state determines which aliens it deports and which it keeps, and this determination “usurps the federal government’s exclusive authority over foreign relations.”
IRLI said that the lawsuit has successful precedence and constitutional foundation, and that California’s policies are detrimental to the country’s health.
“There is ample legal precedent in this area, and it clearly supports the federal government’s position,” Wilcox said. “This is a textbook application of the Supremacy Clause, and laws like [these] are not only flagrantly unconstitutional but extremely dangerous – to both the safety of the American people and the integrity of our federal republic.”
The IRLI also filed a separate brief on behalf of 13 California municipalities and elected officials who disagree with the state’s sanctuary policies.
Those towns and officials claim that they “feel compelled to support the federal sovereign over the state sovereign in this dispute.”
They also claim that California not only has taken immigration control from the government, but that it prevents the municipalities and individuals from complying with the federal government.
They use the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause to condemn California’s policies and say the state violates the government’s power to control immigration and the federal government has supremacy over the states.
In addition, the towns and officials claim that the laws could make them “criminally liable,” according to the press release.
California laws that prevents local governments and businesses from coordinating with federal law enforcement agencies “compel them to commit the federal crime of concealing, harboring, or shielding illegal aliens.”
The brief also claims that interacting with federal immigration officers is a First Amendment right that cannot be prevented by the state of California.
The lawsuit, U.S. v. California, for which the institute filed the briefs, was initiated March 6.