They steal into people’s lives, hovering in the shadows outside of homes or the children’s schools. Nowhere is safe. No length of time is safe, not even decades. Then, they pounce and pull mothers or fathers away from tearful, begging children. They place people in holding prisons. Sometimes, they tear the distraught children away from their mothers. Then, they force the people they captured back to countries where death, starvation, war, a foreign language, and certain violence await them. “They” are the U.S.
Is this really so terribly different from what the Nazi’s did? Then, the question becomes: Who will be next?
California and Donald Trump have been engaged in a battle over undocumented immigrants. Specifically, the country’s attorney general (AG), Jeff Sessions has ramped up deportation of these individuals, even to the point of deporting long-time, tax-paying immigrants – professors, business owners, and hard workers. The state with an economy bigger than most countries has been fighting back in unique ways.
The White House sued California concerning its immigration policies and practices. The next day, AG Sessions gave a speech to the California Peace Officers Association in downtown Sacramento as protesters stood outside.
Of course, serious criminals should not be welcome, but many deportations bewilder most people.
Beginning this year, California named itself a sanctuary state under Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act. It limits how and when state law enforcement can interface with federal immigration authorities. Assembly bill 450 legislates how employees can handle federal immigration and audit requests, also know as I-9 audits.
The police have found themselves caught between the conflicting state and federal policies and laws. Fairfield Police Chief Randy Fenn was looking forward to getting clarification from the AG. The Sacramento Bee reported that Fenn said:
‘We don’t want to be caught in the middle, frankly.’
Sessions’ speech included a rebuke for California officials who tried to intercede on behalf of undocumented immigrants. These immigrants are an important part of the state’s economy. According to the Sacramento Bee, Sessions said ICE were unable to deport them:
‘A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system. Open borders is (sic) a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted. There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is “the supreme law of the land.” I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.’
The federal lawsuit focused on three California laws: Senate Bill 54, Assembly bill 450, and Assembly bill 103. The lawsuit claimed that the federal government trumps state laws, according to the U.S. Constitution. The Trump administration believes the U.S. Supreme Court will try the case, because the lower courts in California would not likely favor the state.’
Sessions claimed that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf obstructed ICE agents when she warned immigrants of impending ICE raids. He said some 800 people went free due to the warnings:
‘Her actions support those who flout our laws and boldly validate the illegality.’
Governor Brown’s office released a statement:
‘At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!’
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D) said he believed that Senate Bill 54 was legally sound:
‘With regards to SB 54, there was a reason why from the beginning of President Trump’s election that I hired the former U.S. Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, and that was to receive expert counsel on federal issues. If it galls the (current) U.S. Attorney General and the president that we won’t help enforce their racist, xenophobic immigration policies, then I say tough.’
Sacramento mayor and former California Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg said:
‘Their legal strategy around these issues has not been impressive, so whatever. If he wants to come to … further try to intimate the city, the state, but more importantly the Dreamers and the hard working families, he might as well cancel his flight, because we’re going to react in the same way we have reacted consistently. We are a proud safe haven, a proud sanctuary city, a proud sanctuary state and we stand with our neighbors.’
‘That’s not just unconstitutional, it’s a plain violation of federal statute and common sense.’
California AG Xavier Becerra and Governor Jerry Brown were also named as individual defendants.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.
H/T: The Sacramento Bee.