Last Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown exercised some adult supervision over a rogue legislature and vetoed AB 1081, a bill that would have required California law enforcement to ignore most requests from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to detain illegal aliens who were arrested for other offenses in the state.
It was a huge victory for citizens of California and, in particular, Jamiel Shaw Sr., a Los Angeles resident who lobbied hard for the governor’s veto. Mr. Shaw had more reason than most to oppose AB 1081. In 2008, his 17-year-old son was murdered by an illegal alien with a criminal record who was put back on the streets of Los Angeles because the County did not turn him over to ICE for deportation.
But public safety, nor even Gov. Brown’s constitutional authority to veto legislation, were enough to impress Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck. Just four days after Gov. Brown’s veto, Chief Beck defiantly announced that his department would go ahead and implement AB 1081 anyway. In a press release, the chief stated that “the LAPD is proposing to no longer grant an ICE Detainer Request without first reviewing the seriousness of the offense for which the person is being held as well as their prior arrest history and gang involvement.”
Sound familiar? It should. It’s part of a frightening assault on the rule of law. A few months ago, President Obama decided that he didn’t like the fact that Congress rejected the DREAM Act amnesty and that he would go ahead and implement it on his own authority. Now a police chief apparently does not like Gov. Brown’s decision to veto legislation and is announcing that he will go ahead and implement it on his own authority.
What is going on does not just undermine our immigration policies; it undermines the foundation of our society. When government executives, including the President of the United States, start deciding for themselves that they will carry out laws which were never enacted and will ignore laws which have been constitutionally enacted, then we are all in more danger than we realize.