On March 6, 2018, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in Federal Court challenging 3 California immigration laws.
The lawsuit contends that the laws “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law” and that they “impede consultation and communication between federal and state law enforcement officials.”
California Governor Jerry Brown responded calling the lawsuit a “political stunt”.
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. wrote a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions while the California Values Act (SB 54) was being considered by the state legislature stating that while the Federal Government has the authority to enforce US immigration laws, it lacks the power to draft state and local officials to assist them in doing so.
On July 5, 2018, Federal Judge John Mendez ruled that the California Values Act and the Detention Review Act did not conflict with federal immigration laws. However, he he granted the Trump administration a preliminary injunction of a provision in California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (IWPA) that limits an employer’s ability to reverify an employee’s I-9 eligibility for a job. The injunction also permits employers to allow federal immigration agents to access non-public areas of the workplace absent a judicial warrant.
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The California immigration laws which are being challenged are as follows:
The California Values Act (SB 54) which also went into effect on January 1, 2018 limits state and local agencies from sharing information with federal officers about criminals or suspects unless they have been convicted of serious crimes.
US Department of Justice Challenges California Immigration Laws
California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450)
- California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450)
- Immigrant Worker Protection Act: A Simple Guide for California Employers
- California Immigration Law Places Employers in Tough Position – SHRM (4-23-18)
- Attorney General Becerra Issues Advisory Providing Guidance on the Privacy Requirements of the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (2-13-18)
- California Attorney General’s Advisory on the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (2-13-18)
- Immigrant Worker Protection Act – Frequently Asked Questions (2-13-18)
- California Immigrant Worker Law is a Golden Opportunity for Jeff Sessions (1-22-18)
California Values Act (SB 54)
- California Values Act (SB 54)
- California Tells Local Law Enforcement to Follow Federal Law – But Not to be Immigration Enforcers (3-28-18)
- California Values Act: Statistical Reporting Requirements (3-28-18)
- Responsibilities of Law Enforcement Agencies Under the California Values Act, the California TRUST Act and the California TRUTH Act (3-28-18)
- SB 54 Fact Sheet by California State Senator Kevin De Leon
- California Lawmakers Approve Landmark ‘Sanctuary State’ Bill to Expand Protections for Immigrants (9-16-17)
- Lawmakers Vote To Make California A ‘Sanctuary State'(9-16-17)
Detention Review Act (AB 103)
We will keep you informed as the lawsuit makes it’s way through the Federal Court system.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.