State survives first round of Trump administration’s suit against the sanctuary law

A federal judge in California this week ruled in favor of the state’s sanctuary state policies, denying the Trump administration’s request to impose a halt on the law that prohibits state officials from helping federal agents enforce certain immigration practices.

U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez of the Eastern District of California on Wednesday, July 4 declined to block SB 54, the state’s sanctuary state bill, in a 60-page ruling in which he said, “[The] Plaintiff’s (the Trump administration) argument that SB 54 makes immigration enforcement far more burdensome begs the question: more burdensome than what?”

Mendez ruled that the state may prohibit its law enforcement from aiding federal agents, saying that the “laws make enforcement more burdensome than it would be if state and local law enforcement provided immigration officers with their assistance. But refusing to help is not the same as impeding.”

SB 54, which was authored by state Senate President pro Tempore and senatorial candidate Kevin de Leon, was signed into law in October by Gov. Jerry Brown. The law also protects unauthorized immigrants who live in cities that have established their own sanctuary policies like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Earlier this year, the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the state in which it was seeking an injunction to halt the state from enacting SB 54; many jurisdictions within the state, including Huntington Beach and other Orange County cities, sided with the Trump administration and joined the lawsuit.

After Mendez’s ruling, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra celebrated the court’s decision in “ruling against federal government overreach.”

“The Constitution gives the people of California, not the Trump Administration, the power to decide how we will provide for our public safety and general welfare,” Becerra said in a statement. “California’s laws work in concert — not in conflict — with federal law.” (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)

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