Sheriffs Who Opposed ‘Sanctuary State’ Bill Now Must Enforce It

from the L.A. Times

California sheriffs who opposed adopting a “sanctuary state” law are now being tasked with implementing the law in their jails and retention policies.

The law, which began as Senate Bill 54, was issued in response to President Trump’s campaign against illegal immigration.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the sanctuary law “is designed to limit the people that California law enforcement agencies can detain, question or investigate at the request of federal immigration officials. But its impact will largely rely on county sheriffs whose departments play a vital role in immigration enforcement.”

In sum, the law is an attempt to limit cooperation with federal authorities and federal immigration policies. It makes sheriffs the final arbiter over who can and cannot see the immigration status of those detained in county facilities. This puts sheriffs in a tough spot, particularly those who were elected in “conservative or rural areas.”

For example, sheriffs who do enforce the sanctuary law will face the threat of losing federal funding for various county projects.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions described the sanctuary law as “unconscionable.” And acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan, said the law will “undermine public safety.” Homan indicated that the sanctuary law will force ICE to pick up any slack resulting from sheriffs’ inaction, thereby leading to more “at-large arrests” by ICE “in neighborhoods and worksites” throughout the state.

Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed SB-54 into law on October 5, It takes effect on January 1, 2018.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com

CA bill would bar landlords from reporting immigrant tenants to ICE

As reported by the L.A. Daily News:

A Spanish-speaking tenant recently asked the landlord of a Los Angeles slum building for a key to its new laundry facility when the landlord reportedly snapped: “We don’t rent to undocumented Mexicans anymore.”

In another case, a landlord threatened to call immigration authorities on a family after they complained to Los Angeles building officials in December of slum conditions with the illegally converted garage they were living in, according to a letter sent Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown from the Inner City Law Center, which is based on L.A.’s Skid Row.

City officials had ordered the garage vacated and the landlord had tried to evict the family without paying the required relocation-assistance payment, according to the nonprofit law firm. …

Click here to read the full article

California on the verge of ‘sanctuary state’ status after legislative deal

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, reached a compromise on the state’s “sanctuary state” bill this week, in a deal that amends the legislation to expand the ability of law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities.

The amended Senate Bill 54 “prevents our state and local law enforcement resources from being diverted to tear families apart. California will protect our communities from the Trump administration’s radical and hateful immigration policy agenda,” de León said in a statement.

As part of the compromise, under the revised SB54, police can share information with federal authorities about inmates convicted of hundreds of crimes that were not part of the original language. These crimes include serious or violent felonies, felony drunk driving, unlawful possession of a deadly weapon and felony drug crimes.

But the bill still prohibits law enforcement from inquiring as to a person’s immigration status, detaining suspected illegal immigrants for ICE, and from acting as federal immigration agents.

“This bill protects public safety and people who come to California to work hard and make this state a better place,” Gov. Brown’s statement read.

Under the amendment, federal agents will be permitted to interview suspected illegal aliens in jails and to access state databases – actions that were previously prohibited.

The California Sheriffs Association still opposes the bill, despite the changes, believing it puts too great of a barrier between local enforcement and federal authorities.

Activists on the left largely praised the agreement. Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, called the deal a “victory for migrants,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

The bill must still be passed by the state Assembly.

SB54 comes amid a larger national debate about “sanctuary” policies, with conservatives and many law enforcement groups maintaining that they provide a safe haven for violate criminal aliens, while liberals and immigration activists argue the so-called “sanctuaries” encourage undocumented aliens to cooperate with police without fear of deportation.

The bill could also be a model for other states eager to push back against the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.

For California, it’s just the latest act of defiance against the Trump agenda in Washington, as Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday sued the administration over its decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, arguing that doing away with the order violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, citing fears that the administration may use “Dreamer” data to find and deport them.

However, President Trump has said there will be “no action” to that effect for six months as Congress attempts to craft a legislative fix.

“I think everyone recognizes the scope and breadth of the Trump decision to terminate DACA hits hardest here,” Becerra said.

About one quarter of the 800,000 recipients of DACA live in the Golden State.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

University of California Sues Trump Administration over DACA Decision

Janet NapolitanoThe University of California has sued the Trump administration for its decision to rescind the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

UC lawyers allege that the rights of the nation’s largest college system were violated when President Donald Trump, on “nothing more than unreasoned executive whim,” dumped DACA.

Many conservatives complain that President Barack Obama issued DACA in violation of the Constitution, after failing to win congressional approval for a “pathway to citizenship” for 11.5 million illegal aliens.

UC President Janet Napolitano is especially knowledgeable regarding DACA, because as Obama’s Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security between 2009 to 2013, she issued the memorandum, “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children,” to stop up to 2 million deportations of those brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Although the title of Napolitano’s DACA memo talked about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using their professional discretion to decide deportation issues, the document’s language specifically mandated that for any individual meeting Napolitano’s criteria, ICE and CBP would “prevent low priority individuals from being placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States.”

Breitbart News reported that of the 790,000 eligible aliens that enrolled in DACA, California has 223,000 California, or 28 percent of DACA enrollees. That is more than the combined totals of the next four states, including Texas, Illinois, Arizona and New York; and also more than in the lowest 28 states combined.

Despite the constant emphasis by DACA supporters about vulnerable children being victimized by their parents’ actions, DACA only covers aliens between the ages of 15 to 30 years old. The median age of a DACA enrollee is 25 years old.

One of the reasons that California is such a magnet to so-called “Dreamers” is the spectacular array of college educational benefits made available through the 2003 passage of AB 540, a waiver of out-of-state tuition for illegal aliens; and the 2011 passage of the California DREAM Act, which made all “undocumented” immigrants eligible for financial aid if they attended high school in the state or received a GED.

Financial aid programs available to “Dreamers” include Cal Grants for tuition; a Board of Governor’s fee waiver; and institution-specific grants and scholarships for UC and California State University campuses. Illegal aliens can also receive the UC’s California DREAM Loan Program and resources through campus Undocumented Student Centers.

Napolitano told NPR, “Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led.”

She added: “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. They represent the best of who we are — hard working, resilient and motivated high achievers.”

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

More Immigration Raids Come to California

ICE 2New Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have rolled out across Southern California, roiling state officials and triggering rumors of broader actions. But though the Trump administration has focused on expanding the scope and strength of enforcement, the current raids trace back to planning conducted at the tail end of President Obama’s term in office.

“Immigration arrests across Southern California over the past week were planned before President Trump took office and could be compared to similar operations the occurred last summer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said,” Fox News noted. “A decade ago, immigration officers searching for specific individuals would often arrest others found along the way, a practice that drew criticism from advocates. Under the Obama administration, agents also carried out arrests but focused more narrowly on specific individuals.”

Political pushback

But while California Democrats have felt more uncertainty and anxiety around immigration in the early days of the Trump administration, they have also felt a greater latitude to object to federal enforcement. “Democrats have complained about getting little or conflicting information about who was targeted in the raids that have panicked many in the immigrant community,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Democrats in Congress say Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told them Thursday the agency plans to employ a broader brush in making immigration arrests, armed with a new executive order from President Trump. Democrats and Republicans in House leadership met in a closed-door meeting with Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to talk about last week’s immigration raids in Los Angeles and other cities, which netted nearly 700 people across the country last week.”

Fraught nerves have spread throughout areas of the state where support for so-called sanctuary cities, and opposition to the new administration, is high. “Rumors that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is rounding up undocumented residents throughout the Bay Area are just that — rumors, according to a spokesman for the federal agency,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. “One of those rumors resulted in an ‘urgent notification’ Tuesday to parents of students at a charter school in San Jose, said James Schwab, a spokesman for the federal agency. Similar rumors have circulated in El Cerrito, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo. All of them have been false, Schwab said.”

Continuity and change

But confusion has persisted, and not only in California, over exactly how ICE has altered its approach to the current round of enforcement. “Under Obama, ICE agents mainly picked up what they called criminal aliens from jails around the country. But with this operation, you’re seeing these immigration agents fanning out into streets and neighborhoods,” John Burnett reported from Texas on NPR. “And that’s what left people so alarmed. I spoke with the Mexican consul here in Austin, Carlos Gonzalez, earlier today. The numbers he gave me was he says 49 Mexican nationals were picked up Thursday, Friday and today. He said that’s a significant increase over the usual apprehensions of undocumenteds here in Austin. And, of course, that doesn’t even include Central Americans or other nationalities that would’ve been picked up.”

The Obama administration’s official trigger for action, a so-called “threat to the community,” was not always applied by ICE this time around. Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told LA Weekly that an unofficial “sense of respect for families and immigrants” was “not always respected” by the previous administration, but did color its approach to enforcement and deportation. ICE senior spokeswoman Virginia C. Kice, told the paper the current actions were consistent with past practices. “Kice points to a series of targeted enforcement actions taken under the Obama administration in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, which netted 10 to nearly 20 times as many arrests as occurred last week,” the Weekly noted.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

‘Sanctuary California’ Faces Bankruptcy if Trump Withholds Federal Funds

california empty pocketsAlthough Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned President-elect Trump that defunding sanctuary cities would cause “social, economic and security problems,” Sanctuary California could face bankruptcy if the Trump administration follows through on threats to pull billions in federal funding.

There are 300 “sanctuary cities” and counties around the United States that have policies in place blocking local law enforcement from complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests for immigration holds.

An ICE detainer is a written request for a local jail or other law enforcement agency to detain an individual for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after his or her release date, in order to provide ICE agents extra time to decide whether to take the individual into federal custody for removal purposes.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General issued a memorandum in August that advised that sanctuary city practices violate federal law. The IG finding empowers Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), if confirmed as U.S. Attorney General, to strip sanctuary cities — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. — of certain federal law enforcement grants. He can also seek court orders to strip federal grants from any government entities refusing to comply with U.S. laws.

Sessions applauded the finding: “Now, the law and the American people demand that this administration cease its acquiescence in this illegality. The Obama administration must immediately take action to withhold significant federal law enforcement funding for these offending jurisdictions.”

Mayor Garcetti and other big city Democrat mayors have defiantly said after Trump’s election that despite the federal government providing an average of 25 percent of state and local government general revenues, they still will not comply with ICE holds.

The reason local government can afford to flout the incoming Trump administration without much fear,is that 95 percent of the $620 billion in federal intergovernmental transfers are block-granted directly to states, who then make transfers to their cities and counties. Direct federal block grants to local government amount to only about $30 billion, and half of that is untouchable as public health and Homeland Security funds.

But there are four Democrat-controlled “Sanctuary States” that are also defying federal law by refusing to honor ICE detainer requests for immigration holds. Connecticut, New Mexico, and Colorado receive relatively small amounts of federal dollars due to low population. But the State of California, with the largest population, is the top receiver of federal funds in the nation.

Of California’s $252.5 billion in total estimated government spending for fiscal year 2015, the federal government provided $93.6 billion, or 37 percent. That works out to a stunning $6,451 for every man, woman and child in the state.

The breakdown of California’s federal funding, by department, includes: 52 percent for Health and Human Services (Medicaid); an average of 25 percent of all state and local government’ general revenues for Labor and Workforce Development, 14 percent for Education; 6 percent for Transportation; 2 percent for Legislative, Judicial and Executive; and 1 percent for General Government, which includes Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, Corrections and Rehabilitation, State and Consumer Services.

Breitbart News reported in May that Moody’s Global Credit Research fiscal stress-tests found that California was already the least prepared large state to weather the next recession. The credit rating service followed up in August with a warning to municipal bondholders that the plummeting financial condition of many California counties, cities, school districts and other agencies would soon result in large numbers of municipal bankruptcy filings.

The only time in the last 40 years California that suffered a 3.7 percent or more of GDP decline was the 4.4 percent plunge in 2009 during the Great Recession. Given the state’s precarious financial condition, any cut-off of federal funds by the Trump Administration could bankrupt California and many of the state’s local government entities.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

CA churches and schools protect illegal immigrants from deportation

from the L.A. Times

Amid a fresh wave of immigration enforcement crackdowns, several powerful organizations in California have flexed their muscle to protect or benefit those present in the state illegally.

The city of Los Angeles has become a focal point for several different efforts, triggered by raids last month that “swept up more than 100 people from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who entered the country and stayed illegally,” as the Los Angeles times noted.

“The seizures motivated church leaders nationwide who say they feel compelled to offer physical protection on their premises even if it violates federal law,” as the paper added, with at least three L.A.-area churches “vowing in recent weeks to offer refuge to Central Americans with deportation orders[.]” It is the Obama administration that has taken heat for the roundups:

“Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics and other Christian leaders across the country say they are outraged with the Obama administration’s actions, said Noel Andersen, a grass-roots coordinator with the Church World Service group for refugees. The group has built a network of sanctuaries for Central Americans targeted by ICE.”

Sanctuary schools

At the same time that California churches have shifted toward the approach that defined the state’s so-called “sanctuary cities,” schools and universities have also advanced complementary new policies. Los Angeles Unified Schools, for instance, have declared themselves to be ICE-free zones. “The school board has banned Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from setting foot on any campus without the district’s permission,” according to Fox 11 Los Angeles. Not only must the Superintendent of Schools approve any ICE presence, by the terms of the new vote, but LAUSD lawyers must as well:

“ICE claims that they do not come to schools looking for students, but parents fear sending their kids to school after information they received of ICE agents conducting a series of raids across the U.S. in January targeting Central American immigrants.”

Simultaneously, administrators in the UC system have forged ahead with plans to extend so-called DREAM loans to students who could potentially be deported. “Officials at California’s four-year public universities are reaching out to an estimated 10,000 undergraduate students who might qualify for a special loan aimed at reducing their tuition,” as U-T San Diego reported, “a program that further distinguishes the state as a national trendsetter in providing services to unauthorized immigrants.”

“The California DREAM loan program’s initial $7 million allotment — $5 million for the UC and $2 million for CSU — will be distributed to eligible applicants in the following weeks,” the paper noted. “The state provided half of the sum and the two university systems covered the other half. The loans are for the 2015-16 academic year, and they’re retroactive to last fall.”

Driving policy

As the public education establishment has come to the aid of would-be deportees, the state of California itself has continued to reward those who go public in some fashion with their legal status. California’s program to extend slightly modified drivers license privileges to otherwise undocumented immigrants far outpaced predicted demand. “Under the new law, 605,000 undocumented residents received licenses, accounting for 40 percent of all of the licenses issued last year,” the International Business Times reported. “Exceeding expectations, even more attempted to obtain a license: Around 830,000 undocumented immigrants have applied for a license since Jan. 2, 2015, the first day of the new policy at the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

The state’s aggressive action on normalizing residents who immigrated unlawfully has been rooted in two realities — first, the relatively vast and stable population of long-time residents crossing over from Mexico and Central America, and, second, the prevailing political agenda of Democrats wielding near one-party control over state policy for years on end. “California is among 12 states that now allow immigrants in the country illegally to obtain driver’s licenses, areas covering an estimated 37 percent of that population,” the Times observed, citing a recent Pew report. But California has also surpassed all other states in its percentage of unlawful residents eligible for a license, according to the report.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com