Trump Justice Dept. to sue California over 'sanctuary city' policies to protect undocumented


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/06/justice-department-sues-ca.html


#2

In other news, CA decides to stop shipping food, and revoke all tech licenses for tech products based in state…

Also, citizens cease payments of federal taxes…

(a guy can dream eh?)


#3

It’s a $#¡+hole of diversity!


#4

Dear 45 you pathetic piece of petty shit, it really isn’t all about you and your little vendettas. There are real issues to be dealt with. Please accept with heart-felt sincerity just how much the majority of people want an adult to govern the nation. Many of us have kids and grandkids who thrown tantrums. It’s so boring in someone who is supposed to be a leader


#5

Behold the power of an angry federal jury selected from the California voter roles.


#6

I wonder if they also have plans to sue Idaho over its nullification of the Affordable Care Act,

(crickets)


#7

But… but… what about “states rights”?


#8

I’m baffled by this. I can’t get my head around what this lawsuit could even be about.

Is there a federal law that says that if a police officer becomes aware that a person is in the country illegal, they must report that to ICE? Obviously if there is my opinion on the lawsuit changes, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t. I’m not even sure such a law would be constitutional.

If the feds want to require local law enforcement to report every single person they suspect of being in the country illegally to the feds, then they need to actually make that a requirement. I’m sure they have some kind of legal argument, and I’m pretty curious what it is. I’d put even money it’s laughable. Then again, I guess I’d also put even money the Supreme Court agrees with it anyway.


#9

The law under whose colour the federal government is operating is 8 U.S.C. § 1357(g), which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to deputize local law enforcement to enforce Federal immigration law. These officers work under ‘287(g) agreements’, where a locality agrees to allow its officers to work in that capacity, and they receive Federal support and training in exchange for a duty to act.

The case law is unclear whether a community is actually permitted to refuse to ‘agree.’ A proffered 287(g) agreement may be literally an offer that the local government can’t refuse. 287(g) also provides no means of rescission. There is no mechanism whereby a local government can rescind a 287(g) agreement once made.

Trump’s executive order of 24 January directs all federal agencies to withhold funding from states and localities that do not enter into 287(g) contracts, and it is not clear how far that order extends or to what extent it is beyond Presidential powers. Clearly, cutting off veterans’ pensions or Social Security payments to residents of ‘sanctuary states’ would be beyond the pale, but the current Congress might not balk even at that.

My understanding is that, at least in theory, the argument at suit does not affect individual government officers, but rather the state policy. The local officer may not have a duty to support the federal investigation, but, the authoritarians argue, the state government likewise has no right to enact a policy forbidding the officer from cooperating. (A 287(g) agreement may compel the officer to agree to the policy as a condition of continued employment, I suppose.)

The state argues, to the contrary, that the policy is to refuse to lend the federal government financial support to pursuing its enforcement aims: basically, “you can’t make us pay our cops to do your work for you.”

Of course, police officers in general have enough tribal sentiments that they’d cooperate willingly if it meant sending more of them up the river or back where they came from, so it’s important to have the policy actively discourage it, rather than leaving it to discretion.


#10

The former head of immigration was on NPR talking about this.

In essence, the state’s sanctuary status means that ICE can’t do what they do elsewhere: visit state prisons and just pick up undocumented immigrants without the need for paperwork.

The Justice Department and ICE are suing California because they have to actually do their jobs there.


#11

Dolt-45 and his Know-Nothing base love to claim that California isn’t part of the Real America™, which should now be a point of pride for residents of the Bear Flag Rebel Republic (and 6th largest economy in the world).


#12

I guess this is the rub for me. Canada (where I’m actually familiar with the law) has very different systems, particularly because there are no provincial criminal laws - criminal law is federal jurisdiction. But one thing that I just can’t imagine the federal government getting around is that the employer who is paying the employees is the one who sets the priorities for the employees.

If the cops are employees of the municipality and the municipality decides that more attention needs to be paid to drunk driving and less to drug dealing, or that they want more cops walking beats and fewer investigating serious crimes. Those are administrative resourcing issues that have to be handled by whoever is actually in charge of enforcement in that location.

When you are a cop, it’s not your job to set priorities. That would be like a fry cook at McDonalds deciding the clean the bathroom instead of making fries. Sure, we all acknowledge that’s a good thing to do, but it’s not what the people who allocate the resources are telling you do to right now.

I guess I presumed sanctuary cities to operated under that kind of administrative authority. Basically you just tell cops: There’s only so many dollars in the budget and hours in the day, if you are wasting those dollars and hours reporting immigrants to ICE then you’re going to catch hell. That’s why I am a confused by the lawsuit, I don’t quite understand how the feds could overrule municipalities on that kind of administrative decision.

But I guess that also depends on how the municipal polices are framed. If they are “fuck the feds” policies then maybe there is a way to challenge them in court and say that the municipality isn’t fulfilling it’s obligations. But if they are, “we have to balance cost against benefit in everything and we are directing resources to things with higher benefit to cost ratios” then I don’t get what power the feds could even exercise without a pretty draconian law overriding locally elected decision-makers.


#13

It’s actually not unprecedented.

If you’ll recall, the Obama administration went after Arizona for its immigration policies. This has inadvertently paved the way for the Trump administration to go after California’s policies. It’s likely gong to be an uphill battle for California.


#14

Another attempt at doing an end run around the constitution which requires innocent until proven guilty and states rights.

Honestly I wish these jokers would just propose amendments to the constitution if they really think it is wrong.


#15

There’s really no parallel. The Obama administration case wasn’t a case about whether the feds could tell states to do whatever the feds wanted:

  • Obama’s administration took a state to court for enforcing immigration law themselves, when it’s an area of federal authority.
  • Trump’s administration appears to be taking a state to court for not enforcing immigration law.

You can’t arrest one person for stabbing someone and use that as a precedent to arrest another person for not stabbing someone.


#16

So what if the state were to define a process that local law enforcement personnel had to follow when a request for action under a 287(g) agreement and that process involved the local law enforcement completing time-consuming steps? “Fill out this paperwork in triplicate and get two officials to sign them, acknowledging the federal request and allowing you to leave your local duties without being considered effectively AWOL.”

Basically, cooperate with the federal government in the slowest and most anal-retentive way possible. With a little bit of design from experienced bureaucrats, I suspect they could come up with a process that takes a couple days and where every step can be (more or less) justified. “We’re not resisting your request, but going through the proper channels as required by state law takes time. We don’t want any problems caused by not crossing t’s or dotting i’s to derail the legal process down the line.”


#17

Malicious compliance is the next logical step, but doesn’t convey quite the same message to the general public that a clear rule “this is not good” would send.


#18

In a sense it was.

The argument the Trump administration is going to make is that you can’t have 50 States making up their own rules on how immigration policy will be enforced when it’s the federal government that’s supposed to enforce it. That was essentially the Obama administration’s argument.

I think California’s best bet is to take sanctuary cities up as a human rights and public safety issue, but I think, ironically, the Obama case will be used against them effectively.


#19

Not really.
The Obama administration wasn’t objecting to “immigration policy”; that makes it sound as if they tried to sue Arizona for obeying the law. They objected to Joe Arpaio’s human rights abuses, abuse of power, systematic racial profiling, and stealing money from his own office.

What Sessions is doing is suing California for not cooperating with ICE raids and abuses of power. San Francisco has been a sanctuary city for over 30 years; it’s only now that we have an administration who objects to the idea.


#20

Except they aren’t hindering ICE operations, they just aren’t doing their job for them. Big difference.