(From Press Release) – A federal court this week upheld the California Values Act, which ensures that police and sheriffs do not indiscriminately help ICE round up and deport immigrants in California. The ruling is a major rebuke to the Trump administration’s nationwide attacks on so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported the law’s passage and has advocated for similar measures in California and other states. The ACLU filed a brief in support of the Values Act on behalf of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, along with co-counsel ACLU of California, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus.
“This ruling is a major victory for immigrant communities in California and across the country,” said Spencer Amdur, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The court emphatically reaffirmed that California and other states can opt out of the deportation dragnet. It is time for the federal government to end its quest to force states and cities to participate in these efforts.”
In its lawsuit against the state of California, the Trump administration had asked the court to block the California Values Act, which was signed into law in October 2017. The court rejected the administration’s argument that the act obstructed federal law enforcement: “Standing aside does not equate to standing in the way.”
As the court explained, it is “entirely reasonable for the State to determine that assisting immigration enforcement…is a detrimental use of state law enforcement resources.”
“We support strong policies that center the needs of underrepresented voices and stand with communities grounded in social justice. With this decision, immigrant survivors of domestic violence can continue reaching out for help without the fear of being torn from their support networks and deported. This makes all California communities safer,” said California Partnership to End Domestic Violence Executive Director Kathy Moore.
“The court’s decision this week denying the Trump administration’s request to suspend the California Values Act affirms what we’ve known to be true all along. It’s completely within California’s authority to limit and prohibit state and local law enforcement from facilitating the deportation of community members. The law remains binding on all state and local law enforcement agencies,” said Angela Chan, policy director and senior staff attorney at Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus.