Sacramento-based U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez, a Bush appointee, largely rejected the Trump administration’s bid to block three of California’s sanctuary city laws on Thursday.
Far left Politico reported:
Justice Department lawyers argued that a 1996 federal law prevents California from blocking disclosure of information helpful to immigration authorities, such as prisoners’ expected release dates and their home addresses. But Mendez said that law covers only records “strictly pertaining to immigration status” and not a broader set of data.
Sacramento-based U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez rejected, for now, the Justice Department’s drive to halt a California law that limits what kinds of immigration-related information state and local law enforcement can share with federal officials. The judge also declined the DOJ’s request to block another law guaranteeing California officials certain information about local and privately run jails that hold immigration detainees in the Golden State.
While the ruling was a setback for the Trump administration’s attempt to enforce immigration laws in states where leaders favor more liberal policies, Mendez did block parts of one of the disputed California laws, including provisions that banned private employers from voluntarily cooperating with immigration officials and from reverifying the legal work status of employees.
Mendez, an appointee of President George W. Bush, took a narrow view of state and local governments’ obligations to allow their employees to assist federal immigration officials. He said California had broad authority to limit use of its resources for immigration enforcement.
“Refusing to help is not the same as impeding,” wrote Mendez. “Federal objectives will always be furthered if states offer to assist federal efforts. A state’s decision not to assist in those activities will always make the federal object more difficult to attain than it would be otherwise Standing aside does not equate to standing in the way.”
In March, the Justice Department sued the state of California over laws protecting illegal aliens from being detained by ICE.
The lawsuit named Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and challenged the three recently passed sanctuary city laws.
Thursday’s ruling doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility the Trump administration could win this lawsuit in the future, however, it is a temporary set back for an administration that is looking to bring law and order quickly.
Of course California’s radical left-wing Attorney General, Xavier Becerra celebrated the ruling on Thursday:
“The right of states to determine how to provide public safety and general welfare to their people continues to stand strong.”
Judge Mendez said of his ruling:
“This Court joins the ever-growing chorus of Federal Judges in urging our elected officials to set aside the partisan and polarizing politics dominating the current immigration debate and work in a cooperative and bi-partisan fashion toward drafting and passing legislation that addresses this critical political issue. Our Nation deserves it. Our Constitution demands it.”
California cities are fed up with dangerous sanctuary city laws and have begun to file lawsuits against California.