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Federal Appeals Court Upholds CA Sanctuary Laws


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Late Thursday, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s sanctuary state laws, finding against a Trump administration appeal of state laws impeding enforcement of US immigration law. The ruling affirmed the decision last July by U.S. District Judge John Mendez.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted unanimously to reject the administration challenges against California laws SB 54, AB 103 and AB 450, saying California has the right to refuse to assist in federal efforts to arrest and deport those in the United States illegally.

The judges felt “refusing to help is not the same as impeding.”

SB 54, limits the cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. The panel affirmed Judge Mendez’s denial of a preliminary injunction. They stated it was valid under the Tenth Amendment and the anticommandeering rule. “SB 54 makes the jobs of federal immigration authorities more difficult,” they admitted but noted California has the right to refrain from assisting in federal efforts.

Pertaining to another challenged law, AB 103, which imposes inspection requirements on facilities that house civil immigration detainees, the panel stated, “Even if AB 103 treats federal contractors differently than the state treats other detention facilities.” The ruling said, the U.S. failed to demonstrate that it treated other facilities more favorably.

However, one subsection of AB 103 requiring examination of the circumstances surrounding the apprehension and transfer of immigration detainees, discriminates against and “impermissibly burdens the federal government, and so is unlawful under the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity.”

With regard to AB 450, which requires employers to alert employees before federal immigration inspections, the judge concluded, “Employee notice provisions neither burden the federal government nor conflict with federal activities,” and may remain in place.

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said, “We continue to prove in California that the rule of law not only stands for something but that people cannot act outside of it.”

 

Sarah Morton

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