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Immigration Law Watch: Federal Judge Denies the Majority of Trump Administration Claims Against California

According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times, United States District Judge John Mendez has rejected two of the three legal claims that the Trump Administration filed against the state of California. The Trump Administration had been seeking to block key aspects of California’s state-level immigration laws. Essentially, these are California’s ‘sanctuary state’ policies. They were enacted in response to the harsh action taken in the early days of the Trump Administration.

In March, the federal government filed a lawsuit seeking to block California’s law on the grounds that the United States Constitution gives the federal government the primary power to regulate immigration. Here, our California immigration attorney offers an overview of how the federal judge ruled on each of the three claims raised by the Trump Administration.

Claim #1: California Can Limit Cooperation Between Officers and Immigration Officials

One key aspect of California’s new ‘sanctuary state’ policies is that the law now restricts the extent to which state and local law enforcement agencies and police officers can use their resources to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials. Judge Mendez has denied the Trump Administration’s claim challenging the legality of this law. California has a legal right to control the conduct of its own law enforcement agencies.

Claim #2: The Attorney General Can Review Immigration Detention Facilities in the State

Under AB 103, the California Attorney General has the authority to conduct a review of any immigration detention facility located in the state. This means any facility where immigrants are being kept while they await their immigration hearing. Once again, the Trump Administration challenged California’s authority to make such a law. This claim has also been dismissed. The Attorney General has the right to inspect these facilities.

Claim #3: The Trump Administration’s Claim Against Fines of Private Employers Can Move Forward

The final aspect of California’s sanctuary state law is a little more complex. Under AB 450, California put into place an anti-workplace raid regulation. Among other things, the law requires private employers to take certain actions to prevent a warrantless raid by immigration officials. If private employers fail to comply, they can be fined by the state of California. The portion of this claim that challenges the legality of these fines has been allowed to proceed. While a final judgment has not yet been issued, it is not clear that California has the legal authority to fine private employers for their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Get Help From Our Dedicated Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we have a comprehensive understanding of the full range of legal challenges facing immigrants in California. Our law firm handles all types of immigration law matters. No matter your specific circumstances, we are here to help. To get immediate assistance with your case, please call our Los Angeles office today at (213) 262-2000 to arrange your fully confidential initial consultation.