By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Regular readers may recall that last month we reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a pair of illegal aliens in a Northern California courthouse in ‘defiance’ of the state’s “sanctuary law.”
We noted that under California law, ICE and other federal immigration authorities are required to obtain a warrant before they can seize illegal immigrants on courthouse grounds. We also reported that ICE has told California authorities to pound sand, because federal law supersedes state laws, especially when it comes to immigration enforcement.
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ICE said in a statement that California “will not govern the conduct of federal officers acting pursuant to duly enacted laws passed by Congress that provide the authority to make administrative arrests of removable aliens inside the United States.”
“Our officers will not have their hands tied by sanctuary rules when enforcing immigration laws to remove criminal aliens from our communities,” David Jennings, ICE’s field office director in San Francisco, added.
Well, apparently the arrest in the Sonoma County courthouse wasn’t a one-off.
The Washington Times reported Friday that ICE agents nabbed another illegal immigrant criminal suspect outside a courthouse in San Francisco — a repeat felon whom California law enforcement authorities repeatedly refused to turn over despite multiple ICE requests.
The paper noted:
The arrest is the latest escalation between the Trump administration and California over immigration enforcement, with the feds pushing back hard on the state’s sanctuary policies through lawsuits, subpoenas, and now flouting the state’s own laws.
ICE said it had tried eight times to get local authorities to turn over the man, who was not identified by name, but each time those “detainer” requests were rebuffed.
So they tracked him down as he was about to enter the courthouse for a hearing, and made the arrest.
“Our officers will not have their hands tied by sanctuary rules when enforcing immigration laws to remove criminal aliens from our communities,” said David Jennings, director of ICE’s San Francisco field office.
California Democrats last year passed Assembly Bill 668, which sought to make courthouse arrests without a judicial warrant illegal.
The bill was specifically aimed at preventing ICE agents from doing their jobs; when agents are enforcing civil immigration laws they cannot obtain a judicial warrant because they make arrests on administrative warrants instead.
“Criminals like this individual are released to reoffend again and again. A simple phone call to ICE to arrange the secure transfer of such individuals would serve the hard working residents of the city far more than a misguided sanctuary policy,” Jennings added, noting that San Franciscans are the ones put in jeopardy by their own politicians by harboring illegal immigrant criminals.
Naturally, San Francisco’s district attorney and public defender issued a joint statement condemning the arrest.
“ICE actions in or near our courthouses deters people from accessing our justice system, making us all less safe,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa “Che Guevara” Boudin.
It doesn’t sound like California officials are in a position to do much other than run their mouths. The Constitution’s Supremacy Clause makes it clear that federal laws supersede state and local laws. And the U.S. Supreme Court has held that immigration law enforcement is a federal jurisdiction.
But we’re headed for a showdown here at some point. Left-wing Democrats don’t like being told what to do, especially by “Orange Man” in Washington, and especially when it means loss of political power.
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The fact is, word is getting around in California’s illegal immigrant community that the Trump administration is no longer letting immigration laws slide in the state. That will result in a loss of immigrant population, which will result in a loss of congressional seats at some point.
And that’s the last thing the Democrat super-majority wants for California.
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