Ninth Circuit Rules in U.S. vs. California


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld most California sanctuary laws that are designed to protect California residents from federal immigration enforcement efforts. These laws contain various provisions, including the following:

  • A requirement that private employers notify their employees when the federal agents request an inspection of their employment records
  • A restriction on state and local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration officials, except concerning certain violent crimes and felonies
  • Mandatory inspection by the attorney general of immigration detention centers operating in the state to ensure compliance with due process and specific standards of care for immigrants

The Trump Administration had filed suit in federal court to prevent the state from enacting these sanctuary laws. The federal government asked the federal district court to issue a preliminary injunction barring the laws from going into effect while the lawsuit was pending. The federal district court denied the government’s request for a preliminary injunction and the federal government appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

statue of justice
Ninth Circuit Rules in U.S. v. California

The Ninth Circuit ruled that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the preliminary injunction, in which it concluded that the laws did not burden the federal government or conflict with federal government activities. Any obstruction created by the legislation, the court ruled, was within the state’s rights to enact such legislation.

The only aspect of the law that the Ninth Circuit panel found fault with was the provision that requires the state attorney general to periodically inspect immigrant detention centers to ensure minimum standards of habitability and compliance with due process. The Court ruled that this provision placed an unfair and impermissible burden on the federal government and requested that the lower court reconsider the extent of the burden on the federal government in conducting the additional inspections required under this provision of the state law. Immigration law is in a state of constant flux, meaning that definitions, requirements, and procedures are continually changing. In this situation, you may be able to help. As experienced Texas immigration attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through the often-complex immigration system. Call us today at (512) 399-2311
 and schedule an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

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