California Judge Rules Sanctuary State Law is Unconstitutional



On Sept. 27, a California judge ruled that the state’s controversial “sanctuary state” law is unconstitutional and that the city of Huntington Beach can immediately begin to ignore it.

The ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall is a response to a lawsuit filed by the city challenging the constitutionality of California Values Act (SB54), which prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement officials.

In its filing, the city asserted, in part, that the controversial law unconstitutionally mandates the use its funds and personnel to create “safe zones” for illegal immigrants.

Judge Crandall expressed some agreement with the city’s argument, saying “Laws are protections for the little guy, in this case, the city.”

While recognizing California’s constitution permits cities to gain some autonomy by voting to become “charters,” California’s Supervising Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Eisenberg argued that the constitution does not afford them “a get out of jail free card,” nor exempt them from all state laws, reported the Orange County Register.

Voters have opted in 121California cities to designate themselves as charter cities.

The road to victory for Huntington Beach began in April when the city council voted to fight back against the state’s attempt to compel all localities to protect illegal aliens by going to court.

The ruling likely is just the first step in a longer legal process that could lead to the state Supreme Court, but it is an important one as states and localities have followed the lead of the Trump administration by standing up to those forces preventing immigration enforcement.

In January 2017, there were 36 cities with 287(g) agreements, which allow state and local law enforcement agencies to form a partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Today, ICE has 287(g) agreements with 78 law enforcement agencies in 20 states and the agency has trained and certified more than 1,514 state and local officers to enforce immigration law.

We can be glad this battle was won, but cannot forget the war that wages on.

About Author

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Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

13 Comments

  1. avatar

    Wow. Kavanaugh gets his posting to Supreme Court and a California judge grows a brain. Someone pinch me. Things are starting to make sense again …

  2. avatar

    Check Moonbeam’s pockets on the way out the door. He, Pelosi, Feinstein have been raping the government for years.

  3. avatar

    “Laws are protections for the little guy, in this case, the city.”

    I agree with the ruling, but this is a shaky argument. The court would have done better to note that immigration enforcement is the right and duty of the national government and that no state or other jurisdiction can lawfully obstruct that function.

  4. avatar

    Dear Fellow AMERICANS
    Breaking and entering {into our country} is illegal. Illegal immigration hurts every one. It even hurts the environment. Rewarding illegal behavior is wrong.
    The flaw in the sentiment on the beautiful statue that stands in the harbor of New York is that it assumes that our country will always be better off with more and more people. It assumes we will have enough resources for them. It assumes we will have enough fresh water, open space, wildlife, wildlands and everything that makes for a quality of life. It assumes we have enough now.
    More people make a wide variety of negative impacts on the environment and it doesn’t matter from this perspective the nationality of those additional people. We are all consumers. We can and should try to consume less but we all need water, energy, food, jobs, open land and none are in a limitless supply….Adding more high level fossil fuel consumers is horrendous for our climate too.
    It would have been great if a more futuristic France would have added these words to their welcoming words, “until it is no longer sustainable to do so.” The Statue of Liberty would then honor both the goals of social and environmental justice.
    Immigration is fine as long as it is LEGAL. We need talented, hardworking, taxpaying individuals in this country. I cannot understand why anyone {Democrat or Republican} would encourage, orchestrate and reward illegal behavior and at the same time have the best interests of American citizens….especially our working poor. Illegal immigration is simply wrong and it hurts everyone. Daily news casts scream at us showing how our very own citizens are hurting financially. Here in Milwaukee we have a growing “TENT CITY” under our interstate highways. We are barely able to care for our very own. The fiscal burden alone of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is staggering and crippling with estimates of well over $170 BILLION dollars per year! Some estimates are closer to $300.00 BILLION each and every year. This should be disturbing to all Americans because it is self-destructive and unsustainable. The overwhelming data show that the cost of illegal immigration is not only dangerous but is crippling our nation. There is no net “gain” when illegal behavior is encouraged rewarded. Imagine what we might actually do with those hard earned tax dollars {education, housing, health care, and infrastructure} for our American hard working citizens.
    {Imagine if your home was broken into by a group of individuals who expect of you and your loved ones food, clothing, shelter, hospitalization, health care, education, transportation etc.at your expense! This “analogy” is painfully real. It is pure corruption that some illegal immigrants are given college tuition which, by the way, most hard working American citizens cannot afford.}
    This quagmire we put ourselves {and the illegals} in must be quickly faced head on. We need strong, fair, by-partisan LEADERSHIP to turn the course of our “TITANIC”.
    Simply…we need to stop encouraging and rewarding illegal behavior! Sound too much like common sense? An end to blanket amnesties, the visa lottery, “chain migration” and the enactment of E-Verify are good starters to curbing the madness we created and could well be part of the reasonable solution to our self-inflicted “Daca” dilemma. “Dropping” babies and young children here for citizenship is immoral, corrupt and just plain wrong! The devious practice is very poor parenting at best. And now, the 3.5 million illegal aliens {and those shielded by DACA} if given blanket amnesty will cost taxpayers another $30 BILLION or more and will only exacerbate the problem by encouraging even more illegal entries. Raising a child now costs a working family over $250,000.00. “Dacas” got a free ride gratis our working poor!
    So what NEEDS to be done? A fair {to tax payers} path {NOT AMNESTY} for the DACA recipients should and must be predicated on by-partisan legislation that prohibits any further amnesties, enforces E-Verify, finally ends Chain Migration and eliminates the visa lottery. These things must be done to eliminate future madness.
    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION HURTS EVERYONE!
    Paul A. Hanson
    Big Bend Wisconsin 53103

  5. avatar
    Stephen Russell on

    Gee hear that Brown our own state judge said ITs wrong, end this U fool.Scrap Sancturary cities & send them to NYC for Blasio.

    • avatar

      These laws allowing sanctuary cities are in violation of the US constitution. This will end up in Supreme Court US. It a time that States verses federal law. Americans do not want their tax dollars sent to these cities. They are a charge on tax payer. They call them Dreamers because they at home dreaming all the benefits they getting for free. While Americans working their butts off to pay the taxes they getting for benefits.

      • avatar

        Agree and aren’t thankful for their jobs enough to speak ENGLISH. As should be thankful for their jobs that help them pay their bills and have freedom( and more). As the money for the veterans is used for them. Who should be fighting for our right and freedom?

  6. avatar

    The state attorney general argued in court that California’s cities do not get to ignore state law. Isn’t that ironic, since California, the state, ignores all federal laws pertaining to immigration, and anything else they want to ignore. So glad to hear about this court ruling. Maybe there is some for that state after all.

  7. avatar

    I Live in Seattle

    The wild fire smoke was terrible [and worse from last year] this year all along the west coast from OVERPOPULATION wild fires increasing [it ain’t lightening increasing folks causing it either]…I see Disneyland closing in about 5-10 years as the OVERPOPULATION smoke drives out all tourism too.

    The air was so bad with smoke all Summer along the coast….they recommended you stay indoors…

    I see collapsing in real estate values all along the west coast too because of wild fire smoke OVERPOPULATION. Its already began?

  8. avatar

    I don’t blame someone who prefers to live in this great country compared to a country south of the border. However, we should never shield those that break our laws. When we get rid of the undesirable immigrants we will welcome those that will keep this country great.

  9. avatar

    Gee, a STATE judge in the Land of Fruits and Nuts who has a vague understanding of the US Constitution’s Supremacy Clause? It’s a friggin’ miracle! Look for a higher court in Californication to strike down this ruling once Governor Moonbeam appeals it. It’ll go to the US Supreme Court where, it is to be hoped, a 5-4 or 6-3 majority will uphold their oath to the United States Constitution and tell Moonbeam to Shove It!