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Trump Asks Supreme Court To Toss California Sanctuary Law

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The Trump administration has taken California's migrant sanctuary law to the Supreme Court, asking it to strike down statutes which prohibit state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, according to the Daily Caller.

Ironically, according to the Caller's Kevin Daley, the dispute over the California Values Act (SB54) is "ideologically scrambled," as the conservative Trump administration is relying on a liberal Supreme Court precedent to argue for expansive federal power, while liberal California is using the principles of federalism to defend its law.

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. In Arizona v. U.S., a left-leaning five-justice majority invalidated much of an Arizona law that involved state officials with immigration enforcement. Arizona said its law merely supplemented federal immigration rules. The high court struck much of it down anyway, saying federal immigration rules take precedence over — or “preempt” — state ones.


"The federal government has plenary and exclusive power over immigration, naturalization and deportation," reads the government's petition. "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."

In April, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law using a states rights doctrine. Under the 10th Amendment anti-commandeering rule, the federal government can't force states to enforce federal policies - which is exactly what SB54 prevents.

"SB 54 may well frustrate the federal government’s immigration enforcement efforts," wrote Judge Milan Smith in the unanimous panel ruling. "However, whatever the wisdom of the underlying policy adopted by California, that frustration is permissible, because California has the right, pursuant to the anti-commandeering rule, to refrain from assisting with federal efforts."

Three provisions of SB 54 are at stake in the case. The law bars 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. -Daily Caller

So far in 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have issued approximately 58,000 immigration detainers in California. And without the cooperation of the state, feds are forced to stake out state jails to 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," reads the government's petition.

California may respond to the government's petition by November 22, while a rebuttal from the Trump administration would likely follow in early December.

The case is No. 19-532 U.S. v. California.