California officials and the Trump administration appear set for more conflicts over immigration in the future, as the state continues to oppose efforts by the White House to enforce all immigration laws.
To that end, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan said the administration was prepared to send “a lot more” immigration enforcement agents to the state after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation designating California a “sanctuary state.” The law forbids most local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities to identify and remove illegal aliens from the country.
“California better hold on tight,” said Homan, promising to “significantly increase” his agency’s enforcement presence in the Golden State. “They are about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”
Federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court have held that the federal government and Congress are responsible for making and enforcing immigration statutes and that state laws pertaining to same are subordinate under the Constitution’s “supremacy clause.”
Homan also said he believes the Justice Department can make a legal case against state and local officials who subvert immigration laws with sanctuary policies. And he said politicians should be held “personally accountable” for crimes committed by people living in the U.S. illegally.
“We’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” said the ICE chief. [source]
(Analyst comment: Things are about to get real between California and the Trump administration over this issue.
California legislators and city officials are openly defying federal immigration statutes; the law and precedent are clear, however, that the federal government, not state governments, have jurisdiction over immigration.
One of Trump’s campaign platforms was a crackdown on illegal immigration, thought to have been lax during the Obama administration. California will resist his administration any way t can, but ultimately will lose this battle, at least in the courts. The only unknown at this point is how long it takes before the first California official is indicted — if Homan’s assessment is correct.
That may be what it takes; I don’t see California voluntarily reversing its stance.)