ICE plans major sweep through Northern California
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that in October, Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Sanctuary State” rules into law.
The state policy is designed to prevent local police from helping the Trump administration crack down on illegal immigration. The move was celebrated as a strong #Resistance message and heralded as a successful attack in California’s #WarOnTrump.
After the measure was signed into law, the feds promised to raid more workplaces and neighborhoods in California.
File this story, then, under Promises Kept:
U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, according to a source familiar with the operation.
Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, declined to comment Tuesday on plans for the operation.
The campaign, centered in the Bay Area, could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump, said the source, who requested anonymity because the plans have not been made public.
Many Americans are clearly frustrated at the “Sanctuary State” rules, which encourage immigrants to not cooperate with local law enforcement and inhibit his goal of enforcing immigration laws.
@TheJusticeDept @realDonaldTrump @DHSgov
Start holding the elected officials in each Sanctuary state and city accountable for breaking Federal law. Lock them up and put a stop to this insanity!
— MacMiMi (@MacMimi61) January 17, 2018
@realDonaldTrump Please help us in the State of CA. Gov Brown has put our lives at risk with all his Sanctuary State laws. We have no rights. Illegal Mexicans have all rights and We The People are put in danger and fear of our lives as well as our law enforcement are blocked.
— Judy Ingram (@JudyIngram36) January 17, 2018
According to the reports, the raids will target specific types of illegal immigrants:
The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said. The number could tick up if officers come across other undocumented immigrants in the course of their actions and make what are known as collateral arrests.
The sweep would represent the first large-scale effort to target the region since Gov. Jerry Brown in October signed legislation enacting a statewide sanctuary law. Supporters say the law allows undocumented immigrants to cooperate with local police and seek education, health care and other public services without worrying they will expose themselves to possible deportation.
The response from California’s progressives is as calm and rational as you would expect:
“This is wrong,” U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) said in a statement, echoing what others in the California congressional delegation feel. “The administration is targeting immigrants to make a political statement. Immigrants are the backbone of our country and such raids will only incite fear in our communities and undermine public safety. We must stand up for their rights.”
Illegal immigrants are the backbone of the Democratic Party’s future election hopes, so panic is understandable. In fact, in an extraordinary display that goes beyond the usual level of political narcissism, the head of the state senate, Kevin de Leon, made the raids all about him:
“The Department of Homeland Security has even admitted they are considering a move to arrest political leaders such as myself, who have led the charge in California to prevent the feds from commandeering state and local resources to tear hard working families apart.
“These extraordinary threats against the President’s political opponents are meant to intimidate us, designed to silence and subjugate us. But they will do the opposite.
“Threatening to weaponize federal agencies against California and its residents only strengthens our resolve.
The federal immigration laws were established by the US Congress. President Trump is merely applying those laws…and if he scoops up de Leon has part of these raids, that is a sacrifice this Californian is willing to make.
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Weren’t we told for 8 years that Federal Law was supreme vs state law? Weren’t we told that the question was settled in 1865? Charge Gov. Brown with breaking Federal Law and throw his red liberal ass in jail.
Federal law is supreme, and nobody disputes that. But the constitution guarantees that the federal government may not commandeer state resources or employees to help them enforce it. Trump’s threats to arrest state officials are illegal and unconstitutional. Nobody is preventing ICE from conducting these raids, so long as it does so on its own; it does not expect and will not receive any cooperation from state and local LEO. If you don’t like this, you’re the one betraying the constitution.
“Federal law is supreme, and nobody disputes that”. I’m not so sure about that claim of ‘nobody disputes’ within the state of Ca. When all this goes down it will be interesting to see if Ca. uses her own resources to thwart Fed law. No commandeering by the Feds is needed.
Name one person of any consequence in CA who disputes the Supremacy clause, or who proposes preventing ICE agents from going about their lawful business. You can’t, because they don’t exist.
Try the CA AG, for one:
Bzzzt. How is that interfering with ICE agents going about their lawful business? Not that I think he’d get very far prosecuting these employers, because they don’t work for the state and are thus entitled to help ICE if they like, but forcing them not to does not interfere with ICE agents, it just denies them help to which they’re not entitled.
You’re an ignorant individual, who’s never heard of witness intimidation? Or how about thugs threatening the victim not to press charges?
Hey, if all the criminal illegal aliens want to move to California, I think the other 49 states are fine with that. It’s not like they are going to turn a Red state Blue.
Plus those “Sanctuary States” and “Sanctuary Cities” concentrate so, so many of those Illegals – making it oh so easy to pick them up for DEPORTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Federal law is NOT supreme, except in the areas where the Constitution grants the federal government jurisdiction.
Local and state officials CAN be arrested for obstructing a federal officer if they pass a law or ordinance which prohibits local and state law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities. It all depends upon what actions state and local officials take or do not take. To deny federal law enforcement agents access to incarcerated persons, as was done in Chicago, could very well constitute obstruction as would refusing to confirm that a person was being held by local authorities. A prohibition against a local or state LEO notifying ICE, if that officer had knowledge or a well founded suspicion that a person was in the country illegally, could also constitute obstruction. While LEO might not be REQUIRED to report a known or suspected violation of law, in all cases, for a state to prohibit a LEO from reporting such a violation of law would be totally stupid and could constitute obstruction or aiding and abetting.
More of your didactic bullshit. Back it up.
You cannot, of course.
Declining to cooperate with the federal authorities cannot, as we’ve shown, constitute “interference”, regardless of your bloviating.
You’re just full of your own shit.
I believe a state official with knowledge of the location of a person sought by Federal Authorities; who conceals the location of that person; by knowingly and willfully failing to respond to a lawful inquiry about that person’s location; may be prosecuted.
If you can cite some settled case law, I am willing to stand corrected.
The relevant case law can be found under the title “Fugitive Slave laws”.
You’re agreeing with me. Affirmative, knowing acts are completely different from non-cooperation, regardless of a state or local mandate to NOT cooperate.
Take the case of a local sheriff who simply would not police the Volstead Act. Then take the case of a local sheriff who KNOWINGLY would commit fraud, concealment, or some other affirmative act in support of a violation of the Volstead Act. Fundamentally different vignettes.
An inquiry that commandeers a state employee to respond is by definition not a lawful inquiry.
Your first statement is a tautology. If Congress purports to legislate on a topic where the constitution has given it no authority, the meaningless piece of paper it produces is not a law, and thus is not supreme. But all actual federal laws are the supreme law of the land, and override any state constitution or law to the contrary.
The rest of your comment is wrong. The Supreme Court said 175 years ago that state officials may voluntarily help federal law enforcement “unless prohibited by state legislation”. Failure to assist, where there is no legal duty to do so, is not obstruction; and Congress can’t impose such a duty on a state official.
Not sure you are appropriately applying the law here. You conflate mere cooperation with Federal authorities with l commandeering State resources.
For many years a Federal Arrest Warrant has begun with:
That warrant binds State law enforcement officers who may encounter the individual, but is not considered commandeering.
There are a host of Statutes that can be used to prosecute State Officials who do not cooperate with Federal Officers. Obstruction of Justice; Concealing information ((18 U.S.C. § 1001); and Harboring an Illegal Alien are three that come to mind.
Obstruction of Justice; Concealing information ((18 U.S.C. § 1001), for instance, requires an AFFIRMATIVE act. Non-cooperation is not within the statute.
No, it does not. It may say “you are commanded”, but the issuing judge is ultra vires, and any attempt to enforce it would be commandeering.
You were told that, but it is not necessarily true.
I know you are utterly ignorant of the constitution, so why do you insist on commenting on it?
If De Leon isn’t in this group then he should stop contributing to global warming with his hot air: “The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said.”
If for some reason he is in that group then yes he should be gone yesterday.
Wrong. He’s being threatened with arrest simply for asserting California’s constitutional right to refuse to help ICE enforce federal law.
Wrong. He’s being threatened with arrest for aiding and abetting illegal aliens. Which, I believe is itself a federal offense.
Nice try though, lefty.
Millhouse is not a lefty and just because you and he disagree doesn’t mean that smearing him the feces of being a progressive liberal leftist makes you look better.
He’s being threatened with arrest for passing a law. This is outright revolt against the constitution, and far worse than any athlete who makes a spectacle of himself by ostentatiously refusing to stand for the national anthem.
@Millhouse this is pure unadulterated bullshit. I don’t believe this comment for one second. ICE has no authority to do anything with this guy because he is not illegal. Maybe if the DOJ wants to pull him in for sedation maybe … maybe.
This is Kabuki theater at it’s finest.
Shane, the DHS has openly announced that it is looking into the possibility of arresting CA officials such as De Leon. Of course there are no such possibilities within the law. Threatening him is a brazen and deliberate assault on the constitution by the Trump administration, which should not be allowed to pass without condemnation.
I will definitely condemn if I see actual evidence that they are targeting him for reasons other than immigration (or impropriety). I have seen no such evidence yet. Also if they want to look into his immigration status then w/e. If they find falsehoods like Radeh then deport his ass, but otherwise meh.
I just gave you the evidence. It’s at the link I provided.
Does California have a ‘constitutional right’ to refuse to notify the federal government of the presence of a foreign army on its soil? You think Nevada would be a bit pissed by California’s inaction in my hypothetical?
Related: “Northern California police refuse to cooperate in upcoming ICE raids: report”
That’s fine with me. Just so long as they don’t interfere. I have a feeling the less they know about the details the less they can ‘pass on’ to certain individuals.
ICE rarely requests aid from local LE. It sometimes notifies the locals when conducting a large raid to avoid having to interact with them spontaneously. But, except for local agents who are part of the joint ICE/local LE program [which was ended by President Obama], local agencies do not actively participate in immigration enforcement operations. As far as know, B.E.S.T., a joint federal state and local border protection program is still active, but is geared more toward cross border smuggling operations than immigration law enforcement.
However, local LE has NO authority to interfere with a federal official or agent in the performance of his lawful duty.
I wonder where ICE will be housing their arrestees? Typically, they use local jail facilities (although I’ve been out of the business for some time, so perhaps things have changed.) If so, though, what will happen if the local sheriff refuses to hold the prisoners and simply releases them or cites them out?
Guess I need to start making the popcorn.
The sheriffs will refuse to house the prisoners; state law requires them to refuse. So ICE will have to find some other way to house them, or else let them go. Tough luck.
There is no suggestion that they will interfere. There has never been any such suggestion by any of the “sanctuary” proponents. All have been completely clear that ICE can conduct its lawful business without any interference, but also without any help.
When I say “interfere” I don’t mean physically block or even engage with any Federal officers. I mean to pass on certain information that might affect a sweep’s success rate. Like maybe a text message to a police officer’s cousin or friend of the family.
But, the City of Chicago, a sanctuary city, HAS interfered with ICE in the past by denying ICE agents access to persons incarcerated in the city jail as well as refusing to notify ICE before releasing a person from custody. This is obstruction.
That’s a lie, and you’re typically full of shit.
The city has no duty to provide ICE with such assistance, so refusing it is not interference.
Look, this is not a new topic. This exact same argument was thoroughly litigated and decided in the first half of the 19th century, over the Fugitive Slave laws. ICE are the new slave-catchers, and they are entitled to exactly the same treatment that their predecessors were entitled to in the 1840s and ’50s, no more and no less. State and local officials may not obstruct them in their lawful duties, but need not help them in any way, and their state may prohibit them from doing so.
Good. Long overdue.
(1) Who leaked this? Is it an attempt to get people to self-deport, or intended by the leaker to sabotage the operation?
(2) Those who object to deporting illegal aliens with criminal histories in this country are showing their true core beliefs. For them, politics over public safety, every time.
It’s pretty clear to me that de Leon WANTS this battle. It furthers his self-assignment of nobility and having a heart and not being evil, etc. etc. That is likely one reason he turns the attention his way. The argument for now is the evil targeting of innocent, rightful and perhaps near godly political opponents and the breaking up of hard working, well-intentioned, lovely families.
So we perhaps just a day or two away from the next arrow in the quiver. It’s RACIST!! Surely it’s coming, too.
Only de Leon’s side is righteous. That’s the ground he wants to fight on. And in CA it will probably work, but throughout a lot of the U.S. the power of his position is waning. Perhaps too slowly, however.
I read that ‘#WarOnTrump’ as ‘#WarOnAmerica’. There is no other way to describe what California and the Democrats are doing.
IF—big if—this plays out, it’ll be interesting to see how Gov. Moonbeam responds.
Local and state authorities would be well advised to do nothing to interfere with the Feds. If they obstruct justice, my sense is that the Feds won’t turn a blind eye.
The concept of rule of law in this country has been so degraded that now it is—just as beauty is—in the eye of the beholder. That needs to change.
I think these raids—if they happen—will be onesy-twoseys; the Feds will get 10 or 20 bad guys and that will be that.
When the rule of law ends there is rule by men. Rule by men gives way to rule by the gun.
mob rule – then public hangings.
You’re raising a red herring. There has never been any suggestion that local and state authorities would interfere with the Feds. The “sanctuary” proponents have always made it clear that they understood ICE remains free to carry out its lawful business on its own.
Oh the horrors, they will have to do their own house cleaning and lawn mowing. Poor little pansies
federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state
I’d prefer they just do the job and skip the messages.
Leslie, this is exactly the opposite of the truth. The “sanctuary” rules encourage immigrants to cooperate with local law enforcement. That’s pretty much the whole point of these rules; without them illegal immigrants, and their legal relatives, are reluctant to cooperate with local law enforcement for fear that they or their relatives will be deported.
But there is a price to be paid for this policy, and this story reveals it: It’s good that ICE is going only after the criminals and undesirables, and is not indiscriminately sweeping up every illegal immigrant in its path, but inevitably some good hard-working illegal immigrants will be found, and of course once they’re found it’s hard to justify not deporting them. This sort of collateral damage would not happen if the local authorities would cooperate with ICE in finding the real targets of the operation. Now, because of the sanctuary policy, ICE will be doing the work themselves, and these desirable but illegal immigrants will pay the price. That’s too bad, but California can’t have it both ways. It made its choice and must now bear the consequences.
“The “sanctuary” rules encourage immigrants to cooperate with local law enforcement.”
So you believe the democrat marketing spin?
It’s obviously true. It’s impossible for it not to work this way.
So you think hard working ones should also be free to flout us laws with no consequence, Milhouse?
You flout plenty of laws yourself. Every time you speed you’re flouting the law. Why do you think they are worse than you?
“desirable but illegal immigrants”
Strange that you assert such a creature even exists.
Anyone who helps build the US economy without harming anyone is by definition a desirable immigrant.
Not if they break our laws to get here.
Let’s take a wider perspective on this.
This is way too little, way too late.
If they were corralling 75,000 or 100,000 aliens, that might be considered as much as a drop in the bucket. This action is more like a molecule in the bucket, or an atom.
Which brings me to my next point:
When are “conservatives” also known as pro-freedom folks, going to quit discussing EVERYTHING on the turf of the socialists?
Quit quibbling over their neo-confederate position in which we accept gratefully the crumbs of 1,500 being rounded up, when in truth of fact, MILLIONS should be rounded up and deported.
What is the alternative? We continue to pay billions in taxes taken from us with the threat of force if we do not pay, for illegal aliens’ medical care, schooling, food stamps, imprisonment, lawyers, judges, bailiffs, etc.
Get off their terms of debate!!! Stop it!!
Close the Fed, if and until we can stop the flood at the border it is an utter waste to deport anyone really, because they will just come back and that will be resources spent and lost on deportation, that might be better used for border enforcement.
Way too little but there is time to get the DOJ, DHS and ICE moving. Trump could declare California a disaster area due to the illegal immigration crisis and have FEMA set up trailers surrounded by fences in the desert to be used as detention centers.
After a few hundred thousand are deported fewer will come in and some will even self deport.
The real movement will come with the prosecutions of employers of illegals and when the DOJ finally goes after Silicon Valley IT companies for H-1B VISA Fraud. It is about time the USA works to get American IT workers back to work.
Doesn’t the POTUS have to be invited by the state to declare disaster zones? I remember that being an issue during the ramp up to Hurricane Katrina.
I’m a bit confused as to why your “wider perspective” is taking this increase in enforcement as the only action that ICE is conducting. If a handful of raids in one sanctuary state were the only change in policy from the past administration, then sure, be angry.
But we’ve been seeing similar enforcement spikes all year. I also submit that you will not ever be able to deport 12 million illegal immigrants. Certainly not within 8 years. So you’ll need some other policy changes to encourage the existing illegal immigrants to self-deport.
This development is encouraging. But let’s not take it as a one-and-done.
After ICE it’ll be DEA and the pot shops.
Can any real lawyers tell me if a State can prevent private individuals from voluntarily cooperating with ICE? Both California and my state of Washington have passed laws (“Immigrant Worker Protection Act” in California) that forbid private individuals from voluntarily cooperating with ICE.
This isn’t a commandeering issue or a data exchange issue (which, afaik, is distinct from commandeering state agents), it is the state directly interfering with the relationship between an individual and the federal government. If I did that (prevented someone from voluntarily cooperating with federal agents) wouldn’t that be obstruction of justice?
Even Volokh didn’t give an answer to this
I don’t see how this can stand. Controlling the conduct of state employees is one thing, but this is simply loopy.
He specifically asked for real lawyers, not graduates of the Sally Struthers School of Law.
Have another drink, it’s only 2pm.
Uncalled for personal attack. Please stop it.
To the best of my knowledge they cannot do this. Prigg v Pennsylvania would seem to be on point.
Having been practicing real law in a real court today, I didn’t have time for any kind of analysis.
As Volokh noted, this is a problem for any but a (or a set of) specialists in constitutional law, including First Amendment law.
One approach that occurs would be under the First Amendment right of citizens to seek redress of grievances by an appeal to their government. I can see a sound argument that anyone who helped the Feds here was doing exactly that…and that any reprisals would be a violation of that right.
There also seems a fairly sound argument under “supremacy”, as no state can maintain a law that works directly counter to the laws of the United States, as this one certainly was intended to do, and seeks to criminalize people who simply abide by the Federal law.
Those are two approaches that occur to me. Maybe someone can suggest others.
As an aside, I didn’t realize it until I reread the Volokh article that the author was Orin Kerr, not Volokh.
One side favors the rule of law, the other side wants to import new slaves. Choose a side.