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California sues Trump administration over ‘Sanctuary City’ policies

California sues Trump administration over ‘Sanctuary City’ policies

California receives about $28 million a year in federal law enforcement funding subject to Trump administration restrictions.

This week’s battle between President Donald Trump’s administration and California has escalated, as the state has officially filed a lawsuit over the cut-off of federal funding due to sanctuary city policies:

Intensifying California’s standoff with the Trump administration over immigration policy, the California attorney general sued the Justice Department on Monday over the administration’s plans to cut off millions of dollars in federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities unless they begin cooperating with federal immigration agents.

The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, argued in the lawsuit that the Justice Department’s threat, made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month, undermines public safety and violates the Constitution.

“It’s a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge for the federal government to threaten their crime-fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government,” Mr. Becerra said at a news conference. “We’re in the best position to determine how best to enforce the law and keep our people safe.”

Legal Insurrection readers may recall my profile of Becerra, who has been planning this suit for some time. There is a considerable amount of money that could potentially be withheld if the suit is unsuccessful:

California receives about $28 million a year in federal law enforcement funding that would be subject to the new conditions, the state said in its lawsuit.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday said San Francisco receives about $1.4 million in such funds. Immigration enforcement is the federal government’s job, he said.

“We’re not stopping them,” Herrera said. “But our police and deputies are focused on fighting crime, not breaking up hard-working families.”

San Francisco also filed its own federal lawsuit regarding federal restrictions. While there has been no official comment on the California lawsuit, the following statements were made in regard to similar suits brought by Chicago:

…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the Trump administration “will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens.”

Jim Brulte, chairman of the California GOP, criticized the lawsuits, saying that “allowing felons, allowing repeat felons to roam free for political purposes is bad public policy.”

Supporters have said the sanctuary protections promote overall public safety by allowing immigrants who are in the country illegally to report crimes without fear of federal deportation.


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i can see the 9th Circus contorting themselves to find in #Failifornia’s favor.

here’s hoping #SCOTUS isn’t as stupid.

Frankly, I don’t give a good spit about Kulhifornia.

California has a clear and progressive problem with policies that violate Americans’ civil rights and gives aid and comfort to the causes of mass emigration.

allowing immigrants who are in the country illegally to report crimes without fear of federal deportation.

Right. I’ll pin that one right up next to the pious post-9/11 prediction that moderate Muslims would reign in their homicidal brethren, starting … ahh … any day now …

    redc1c4 in reply to tom swift. | August 16, 2017 at 12:43 am

    yeah, like the wetbacks are gonna call the cops…

    pull the other one, it’s got bells on it. their neighborhoods have some of the highest crime rates in the city.

    dystopia in reply to tom swift. | August 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

    The logical consequence of that argument is that we need to allow people with outstanding felony warrants report crimes without fear of arrest or they may be victimized by predators.

$28M out of a budget of billions is well on the safe side of the line between persuasion and coercion, so it’s clear that Congress has the power to impose such a condition, even on existing funding. So the only problem is that it hasn’t done so, and the two issues I see for trial are: (1) Does the word “may” in the statute give the AG the discretion to impose such a condition on his own? (2) Does it fulfil the requirement that such conditions be unambiguous?

That’s where I see the strongest argument for CA — how can Congress be said to have imposed an unambiguous condition when not only didn’t it say a word about it, but the thought didn’t even occur to it, and it never anticipated that one day some future AG would impose it?

On the other hand the DOJ could argue that Congress delegated to the AG its right to impose conditions, so as long as he makes them unambiguous, and fulfils the other requirements the Supreme Court has laid down, it’s OK. After all the point of this requirement is that the states must have clear notice of what could lose them the funding, and in this case they do, regardless of who gave it.

Just because you haven’t imposed conditions on funding does not mean you don’t have the power to impose conditions on funding.

What these clowns don’t understand is that the game has changed with this new administration.

You don’t compare the reckless, lawless administration of the Obama era and what they did or didn’t do to this new administration simply because they both have different priorities.

Under Obama the lawful American citizenry was not a priority and his actions reflected that. Under Trump it us a priority hence why funding now comes with conditions (I know right, the guy is clearly a race hating dictator for even thinking funding for law enforcement actually be used for law enforcement).

    Milhouse in reply to mailman. | August 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Mailman, how are you not getting this? Neither the president nor the AG has the right to impose such conditions. Only Congress can, and even it is severely limited in what conditions it can impose. In this case there’s no question that Congress could impose this condition on this spending (so long as it did so unambiguously) but it hasn’t. That means that CA has a strong case. I suggested above a possible argument for the DOJ, but it’s not a great one.

      mailman in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2017 at 11:57 am

      I don’t think you get it Milhouse. The fact is conditions CAN be set on funding. Just because they haven’t previously is neither here nor there.

      These clowns are acting as if they have a god given, duty free right to funding when they clearly do not.

      Now that there is the threat of funding being removed because its not actually being used as it should they are crying like a puppy dog barking at the moon.

      What these idiots COULD be doing instead is actually using the money for its intended purpose…but yeah I know…that’s just crazy talk!

        Milhouse in reply to mailman. | August 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        I get it completely. You seem not to get it. Congress can put (very limited) conditions on such funding. And if it had done so there would be no case. Neither CA nor Chicago would be suing, because their legal advisers would inform them that they had no grounds, since this condition seems clearly within the bounds of what the Supreme Court allowed in previous cases. But Congress hasn’t imposed this condition. Loretta Lynch did, and Sessions is now proposing to enforce it. How is it obvious to you that the Congress has delegated — or can delegate — the authority to impose such conditions to the AG, or that it fulfils the requirement of unambiguity?

        Milhouse in reply to mailman. | August 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

        These clowns are acting as if they have a god given, duty free right to funding when they clearly do not.

        Actually they clearly do. Even Congress cannot impose conditions on existing funding that are so onerous as to compel states to do as Congress wishes, nor may it impose conditions that are ambiguous or that are unrelated to the purpose of the program to which they are attached.

1) California officials should be in jail for violating federal immigration law, not party to a lawsuit whining about the funding of their lawlessness.

2) Our tax dollars should not be used to bail out CA from the consequences of ignoring federal immigration law.

3) None of that matters, because as soon as Ryan and McConnell see their invitations to Martha’s Vineyard drying up, they will compromise to promote bipartisan unity. Before the next softball practice.

    Milhouse in reply to Fen. | August 16, 2017 at 10:04 am

    You’re full of sh*t as usual. No CA official is violating any law, and none can violate any law because Congress has no power to make such a law. States and their subsidiaries have no obligation to enforce federal laws, and Congress has no right to compel them to do so, whether directly by legislation or indirectly by cutting off funding. That is a fundamental principle of our federal system, and has been repeatedly upheld for over 200 years. If you don’t like it move to some country where the central government can do whatever it likes.

Antifa is proof positive of where the country is headed due to all this official approval of lawbreaking in America. Antifa is allowed to wear face-concealing bandannas with sunglasses, balaclavas and other masks in contravention of the law to avoid being identified later. Why? This will not end well.

    Ragspierre in reply to Dave. | August 16, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I disagree, and for this reason; the majority of Americans will insist on the law being enforced. That’s about all that’s required here.

    And that will end well. There could be a bumpy road to that point, but it will happen because it must.

    Milhouse in reply to Dave. | August 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

    States and their subsidiaries have every right to disapprove of federal laws, and to approve of those who break them, so long as they don’t break them themselves. This was true of those states and localities that refused to enforce the fugitive slave laws, prohibition, the Brady Act, and 0bamacare, and it’s equally true in the cases of marijuana and immigration. The feds are free to enforce their own laws, and are not entitled to the assistance of state and local governments. The country didn’t go to pot over those cases, so why should it in these?

The Kali authorities are in clear violation of federal law. As individuals they need to answer for their felonies as any other individual would have to answer for them.

8 U.S. Code § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens

No one is requiring them to enforce federal law. But the state’s laws forbid LEOs from even sharing information with federal immigration law enforcement agencies. And therefore they have crossed the line and are harboring illegal aliens.

“(ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;”

Every time Kali transports a prisoner from a county or city jail to a state prison, every time Kali transports a prisoner from a prison to a county jail so they can stand trial for additional crimes, hell every time these authorities transport a suspect from a crime scene to the local jail KNOWING they are illegal aliens with the deliberate intent to release them into the wild without giving federal authorities the chance to pick them up to deport them they are in violation of this aspect of one federal statute.

I could elaborate further. But I see no exceptions in the law for state or local officials to engage in human trafficking.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | August 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    By “I could elaborate further” I meant that’s just one provision of one federal criminal statute the Kali authorities routinely violate.

    Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | August 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Keeping someone in prison is not “harboring”. The state has no duty to inform the feds, or to share any information with them, and has the right to direct its own officials not to do so, and Congress cannot make a law imposing such a duty. That has been the basis of American federalism since the beginning, affirmed by the courts during the fugitive slave crisis and repeatedly thereafter.