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Trump administration sues California over sanctuary cities

The Trump administration is suing California in federal court over three state laws, which provide protections for “sanctuary cities.”

The laws in question make it a crime for business owners to voluntarily help federal agents find and detain undocumented workers, prohibit local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when detainees are release from custody, and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

Administration officials claim these laws blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state enactments. They also said other states that are pursuing similar laws to those in California are likely to be targeted in court in the future.

Sanctuary cities in Texas

The debate over sanctuary cities is familiar to Texans. Last year, the state Senate attempted to pass Senate Bill 4, which prohibits sanctuary cities from adopting policies that limit immigration enforcement, allows police officer to question the immigration status of anyone they detain or arrest and threatens officials who violate the laws with fines, jail time and removal from office. Houston is among Texas’s sanctuary cities.

A federal judge blocked the state from enforcing the ban in July 2017, but parts of the ban were allowed to go into effect in September. The case is currently in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Residents of sanctuary cities who are worried about their risk of deportation can work with an immigration attorney who will advocate for them with the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement.

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