OC Supervisors get schooled by Attorney General Becerra on Sanctuary




“Sessions, Sessions, go away
No immigrants for you to catch today!”

Not a very common protest chant, but one which Californians could sing in Orange County after Judge Mendez rebuked Jeff Sessions and the OC Supervisors for their ill-starred effort to torpedo California’s sanctuary law.

The ruling upholds the bulk of California’s sanctuary laws – which contrary to Sessions’ ridiculous misrepresentation, do NOT obliterate America’s border, do NOT protect ‘criminal’ aliens, and do NOT result in any measurable crime.  They don’t even prohibit the police from disclosing criminals to ICE – just limit the discretion of the police so that they may only do so for VIOLENT criminals (as opposed to traffic citations, homelessness, disturbing the peace of white folks apt to call the cops for no particular reason).

The Sanctuary laws do a large number of things, basically to stop California citizens from exploiting, extorting, and terrorizing immigrants residing here.  In most of the country, those who exploit and extort immigrants can threaten them with law enforcement if they do not acquiesce – issues that have arisen in spousal battery cases, in child custody cases, employment cases, landlord tenant cases, and darn near every other field.

“Standing aside does not equate to standing in the way.”

Mendez’s ruling does permit a stay to be placed on two sections of California’s sanctuary laws:

(1) a prohibition on employers voluntarily admitting immigration officers into their premises even without a court warrant (e.g., if a mid-level manager or disgruntled employee wants to screw up his boss, he’s free to call in ICE agents for a sting)

(2) a prohibition on reverifying immigration status of employees (e.g., a mid-level manager who wants to lay off certain employees can screen them to find immigration infractions, then try to toss out the ones least likely to qualify for unemployment benefits…)

Sessions’ team has already reported this as a win, and the OC Supervisors probably will too.  After all, they only lost on 67% of the law (more, actually).  Most importantly, California police cannot be “commandeered” by federal orders to help ICE enforce immigration laws.

  • Most likely, California will NOT become a major host state for holding noncitizens, simply because Sessions will have to tolerate Xavier Becerra inspecting those detention facilities.  There’s gonna be a number of prison investors in California sobbing about all the lost profits there (preferred code words: “look at all the crime THOSE people have unleashed that we tried to prevent”)
  • State and local law enforcement cooperation with immigration agents is NOT permitted, except under limited circumstances for violent criminals

But overall, life will go on in California much as it has already.  Whenever Republicans accuse Californians of favoring ‘open borders’ – they have to pretend that Tijuana/San Diego lacks an already substantial wall in San Ysidro, not to mention other crossing points.

They have to pretend that California police are too stupid to tell the difference between a ‘violent criminal’ (whom they can cooperate to deport) and a ‘nonviolent criminal’ (whom they cannot), and thus need the threat of deportation to ‘help’ them do their jobs (which police never actually needed – it’s hard enough to induce witnesses to cooperate and victims to press charges without that threat lurking in the background).

The sanctuary laws make ALL Californians safer, regardless of their documentary status.  But they infuriate those who benefit the most from exploiting documentation status to cheat and gouge.  Let them.

Note that the ruling will almost surely be appealed, so this struggle is far from over.  Oh, and by the way…there’s a vacancy in the US Supreme Court that will almost certainly come into play a few months down the line…

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