California’s 2017 legislation mostly blocking local resources from being used to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents round up and deport undocumented immigrants remains in place after the the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected impeached president Donald Trump and former Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Session III’s challenge to the landmark legislation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“As is the usual custom, the court declined to say why it won’t hear the issue,” NBC News reported. What is known is that only two of the court’s justices were on board with taking up the administration’s appeal: Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. “The Supreme Court just denied the administration’s attempt to force local law enforcement to do ICE’s bidding,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted Monday morning. “This is a win for all communities, particularly communities of color, and keeps us all safer.”
Under the California Values Act, which was signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2017: “State and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments cannot engage in immigration enforcement except in narrow circumstances,” ICE Out of California Coalition said. “With a few exceptions, no state or local resources will be used to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.”
Of course, the Trump administration lost its shit over the law, with former acting ICE director Thomas Homan threatening to escalate raids in the state over it (making a pretty good case for why we shouldn’t be lifting one finger to assist ICE in its terror campaign). “ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites,” he barked, “which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests.”
“Collateral arrests” is the crass term the agency uses to describe when someone who isn’t the target of a raid gets swept up just because they happened to be at the location. Maybe it’s a roommate or a relative, like when ICE targeted a Seattle dad—and then also detained his son, who happened to be asleep in his own home. Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who’s supposed to be protected from deportation by the program, was jailed for six weeks and stripped of his status. A federal judge ultimately blocked officials from revoking his DACA, further finding that ICE had lied and made up gang ties in order to try to deport him.
“The Trump administration, led by Sessions, filed suit against California seeking to having the state law declared invalid,” LA Times continued. “But a federal judge in Sacramento and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused and ruled state and local officials were not obstructing federal agents.” Following the court’s rejection of the appeal, this is the end of the road for the administration on this one. The administration will no doubt try to find other ways to fuck over localities, because Trump and Stephen Miller are always gonna Trump and Stephen Miller, but California’s law stands.
“The court’s action today is a blow to the Trump administration’s racist agenda, and a rebuke to federal attempts to coerce local governments into carrying out its dirty work,” ICE Out of California Coalition said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “In rejecting the administration’s lawsuit, the court has recognized the power of local and state governments to use local resources for the common good and protect residents from federal abuses of power.”
But while immigrant communities and immigrant rights advocates welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, many continue to be anxious due to the ongoing wait regarding a decision on the Trump administration’s inhumane and unlawful termination of the DACA program. No decision on that case came on Monday; the next decision day is this upcoming Thursday, June 18. We’ll keep you updated here.