Immigration law in Texas and California: Opposites do not attract

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2017 | US Immigration Law

In spite of immigration law being the purview of the federal government, individual states are dealing with Trump-era immigration matters in their own way. While each have their own approaches and philosophies, no two states can be more on opposite ends of the sanctuary spectrum than California and Texas.

With cities lining up to sue Texas over their new immigration law, the White House has ordered the U.S. Justice Department to enter the fray. In an email notification to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Justice Department announced that they would be filing court documents in support of Texas and the growing challenges to pending state immigration law state authorities face.

U.S. attorneys also informed the LULAC that they would be appearing at a federal court hearing in San Antonio. On June 26, a judge will hear arguments to block Texas’ sanctuary city ban that makes it a crime to shelter undocumented immigrants from deportation. The infamous SB4 is set to take effect on September 1.

Meanwhile, on the west coast, the Golden State’s approach to federal immigration law could not be any more different. The California legislature is considering a bill to formally declare sanctuary status for the entire state. If enacted, state, local law enforcement would be unable to use resources to help federal authorities target California-based immigrants for deportation.

Ironically, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the California state senate’s legal advisor, wrote a letter to current office holder Jeff Sessions. The correspondence cited California’s sovereign state status and the constitutional authority and responsibility to the safety and well-being of state residents.

The correspondence was sent in anticipation of the pending conflict with the current White House administration should the sanctuary bill become law. Joining the chorus of detractors in both California and Texas, Holder made it clear to Sessions that the state is not required to use resources and compromise security to enforce federal immigration laws.