ICE director throws down the gauntlet to Governor Brown
Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill making California a sanctuary state and the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is challenging his ability to protect criminal illegals from deportation.
Thomas Homan issued a statement saying that despite the declaration of California as a sanctuary state, ICE will continue to act even if it means there will be little cooperation from state law enforcement.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement Friday that California Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) decision to sign the law, SB54, would "undermine public safety and hinder ICE from performing its federally mandated mission."
Under California's new law, state and local police will have major restrictions in how and when they can collaborate with federal agents on immigration investigations and arrests.
One notable provision in the law is it prohibits so-called immigration holds, requests from ICE to local authorities to hold a prisoner or detainee longer than the constitutionally mandated period.
Opponents say a hold, also known as a detainer, constitutes a violation of a detainee's constitutional rights, and their enforcement puts local authorities at risk of liability.
Immigration holds used to be considered a courtesy that state law enforcement gladly gave federal immigration authorities. Now it's a serious violation of a criminal illegal's constitutional rights?
Supporters, chief among them Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, say detainers are necessary so arrests of dangerous immigrants can be made in the confines of jails and prisons.
"ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community," Homan warned.
Still, California's new law allows for ICE agents to interview and arrest detainees in local facilities, as long as they have a judicial warrant, in keeping with due process protections in the constitution.
Homan and others in the Trump administration have long argued that judicial warrants are unviable in immigration enforcement and that detainers are "legally defensible."
Homan also warned that under SB54, ICE would "likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California."
"Ultimately, SB54 helps shield removable aliens from immigration enforcement and creates another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect," Homan said.
Donald Trump ordered the hiring of 10,000 more immigration enforcement agents so the federal government wouldn't have to rely so heavily on state and local law enforcement to remove criminal illegals. If California refuses to hold a deportable illegal alien, there will be an ICE agent right there in the police station to take custody of them.
The courts are apparently not going to force local jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE. So to get the job done, ICE is going to have to rely on its own resources. One way or another, many of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in the US who have been charged or convicted of a felony will be shown the door or jailed.