Pasadena Immigration Attorney Discusses the California Sanctuary Issue

By June 24, 2020Immigration Law Blog
Pasadena immigration

Today, Pasadena immigration attorney, Franklin Nelson, is tackling the difficult topic of California’s attempts to declare state sanctuary cities for immigrants.

Pasadena Immigration Attorney Discusses the California Sanctuary Issue

As immigration attorneys in Pasadena, California, it’s part of our job to make sure that our clients and the general public, have access to easily understandable information. Today we’re going to do that by taking a look at the current California sanctuary city cases.

On Wednesday, June 15th, the California Supreme court stated that it would not take up the legal battle over whether or not local governments would be able to declare themselves as sanctuary cities. This declaration would also mean that states would be refusing to assist governmental agencies with their immigration enforcement effort.

Although the Supreme Court voted that they would not hear the case, they will not expand upon their decision at this time. It should be noted that this is not unusual for the Supreme Court to remain silent over such things.

A Little Background

When California made their declaration that they supported the creation of local sanctuary cities that would protect their immigrant populations, it was clear that the federal government wasn’t happy. It wasn’t long before California was facing the possibility of having their sanctuary cities destroyed.

Although the lower courts supported California’s declaration of sanctuary cities, the federal government stepped in and requested that the Supreme Court review California’s lower court rulings. This was done in an attempt to block the ability of the state to prevent police departments and sheriff’s offices from notifying federal agents when immigrants are going to be released after serving sentences for local crimes. The ninth circuit court of appeals in San Francisco stated that there is no obligation for local officials to assist government immigration agents.

The federal government argues that sanctuary cities in California have no right “to obstruct federal law by adopting policies governing the regulation of aliens,” and that they cannot “adopt a law that makes the jobs of federal immigration authorities more difficult.”

In the appeals process, multiple lower courts agreed with the ruling that California is under no obligation to assist federal immigration agents and that sanctuary cities were acceptable. When taken to the second circuit court of appeals in the second week of June, the court ruled that while California could maintain their sanctuary cities, the Justice Department could also refuse to give crime-fighting money to any cities and states that consider themselves as sanctuaries and who refuse to share information with federal immigration authorities.

Tit For Tat

So, this creates something of a tit for tat. While California may still continue to claim sanctuary cities and refuse to provide information to assist federal immigration agencies, they may also face consequences that threaten the economy of the state. By withholding crime-fighting money from the state of California, the federal government is essentially saying “do what we want or you won’t be able to maintain your current level of protection against crime”.

Just how much would it hurt California if the federal government withheld crime-fighting money from the state? Considerably. Currently, federal funds are being used to support a vast array of state programs – around 1/3 of the state’s funding comes from the federal government. So, should the crimefighting funds from the government dwindle, it’s not only the sanctuary cities that will suffer. As states run out of funding, everyone living in those states is going to feel the impact. Less support for crimefighting means more crime going undetected and gradually the city will need to start pulling funding from other areas to make up for the lost funds. This then affects other aspects of state government and life. As other programs suffer, more residents of sanctuary cities are going to feel their quality of life declining. This is likely the intention of the federal government’s actions – to strongarm sanctuary cities into complying with federal demands.

To date, California is still holding their own and maintaining sanctuary cities but as the federal governments begin to strangle them slowly by withholding money, there is little doubt that the state is destined to be overcome by the playground bully.

Are You Looking For a Reputable and Experienced Pasadena Immigration Attorney?

If you are currently looking for a reputable and experienced Pasadena immigration attorney, Nelson Immigration Law can help you. To make an appointment to find out how we can help, just give us a call today at 626-683-3451 and make an appointment for a time that’s convenient for you!