Sunday, October 7, 2018
Big news on the "sanctuary" city front.
In an order released on Friday, a federal judge in California struck down an immigration law that the Trump administration has used to go after cities and states that limit cooperation with immigration officials. The ruling by District Judge William Orrick also directed the U.S. Department of Justice to give California $28 million that was withheld over the state's immigration policies. San Francisco is expecting two grant awards of $1.4 million following the ruling.
The court summarized its conclusion as follows:
"In agreement with every court that has looked at these issues, I find that: the challenged conditions violate the separation of powers; Section 1373 is unconstitutional; the Attorney Generalexceeds the Spending Power in violation of the United States Constitution by imposing thechallenged conditions; the challenged conditions are arbitrary and capricious; California’s and San Francisco’s laws comply with Section 1373 as construed in this Order; California is deserving of the mandamus relief it seeks; and both parties are entitled to a permanent injunction. Because the requisites for a nationwide injunction are met as a result of the unconstitutionality of Section 1373 and the uniform effect of DOJ’s conditions on Byrne JAG grantees around the country, I will follow the lead of the district court in City of Chicago and issue a nationwide injunction but stay
its nationwide effect until the Ninth Circuit is able to address it in the normal course on appeal."
The law (8.U.Sc.C. 1373(a)) struck down by Judge Orrick states that "Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual."
In fnding Section 1373 to be unconstitutional, the court stated that
"As the court wrote in City of Chicago [litigation], Section 1373 `effectively thwart[s] policymakers’ ability to extricate their state or municipality from involvement in a federal program.' . . . It goes beyond information-sharing to `require local policymakers to stand aside and allow the federal government to conscript the time and cooperation of local employees.' . . . Further, with Section 1373 imposed on states and local governments, `federal priorities dictate state action' and this inevitably reaches the state’s relationship with its own citizens and undocumented immigrant communities in ways that no doubt will affect their perceptions of the state and trust in its law enforcement agencies. For the reasons discussed above, I find that Section 1373 is unconstitutional."