The fight over “Sanctuary Cities” heats up. On February 6, 2018, we reported on the ongoing lawsuit, City of Chicago v. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Attorney General of the United States[i]. In that case the City of Chicago is suing AG Sessions for withholding Byrne-JAG grants to so-called “Sanctuary Cities”.
The Justice Department has now sued the State of California over three laws passed in recent months that they claim make it impossible for the US to deport criminals born outside the USA. The United States of America v. The State of California, et al. [ii] was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California on March 6, 2018. The US seeks a declaration that these three laws are invalid.
The first law is the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” which prohibits private employers in California from voluntarily cooperating with federal officials who seek information on immigration enforcement that occurs in the workplace. In other words, it will require the federal agents to obtain a judicial warrant before they are allowed in non-public spaces of a workplace. The employer must also notify its workers of an impending inspection.
The second creates an inspection and review scheme that requires the Attorney General of California to investigate the immigration enforcement efforts of federal agents.
The third includes the “California Values Act” which limits the ability of state and local law enforcement officers to provide federal agents with basic information on individuals who are in custody and prevents state or local resources from being used to facilitate federal deportation raids.
The case argues that the federal government has exclusive authority in immigration matters and any state laws that interfere with the government’s handling of immigration matters is invalid.
California has yet to respond to the complaint and we will follow up with new information as it becomes available.
The author[s] is solely responsible for this blog submission. It does not represent the position of the New York State Bar Association or its Committee.