ACLJ Joined in Opposing California’s UnConstitutional Laws


Recently, the State of California passed several laws designed to advance California’s open-borders agenda and status as a sanctuary state. These laws, for example, restrict voluntary cooperation with federal immigration agents by employers and state and local law enforcement agencies when it comes to illegal aliens. In practice, these laws violate the United States Constitution, threaten our national security, and harm the rights of those who reside legally in this country.

After these laws were enacted, the Trump Administration filed a federal lawsuit and asked a federal judge to enjoin their enforcement. The American Center for Law and Justice (“ACLJ”) submitted the first amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in support of the Administration’s injunction motion. Our brief was filed with the support of the thousands of people who have joined the ACLJ’s committee opposed to state actions that violate the United States Constitution.

Since the submission of the ACLJ’s brief, other amicus briefs in support of the Trump Administration and against California’s unconstitutional laws have been submitted. Here is a sampling of those briefs:

Sixteen states and two governors point out how California has no difficulty supporting contradictory positions to advance its open-borders/sanctuary-state agenda. They explain that a few years ago when Arizona, in response to the Obama Administration’s purposeful failure to enforce federal immigration laws, enacted state laws designed to enforce those federal immigration laws, California joined an amicus brief against Arizona’s efforts. Then, California argued that the federal government, not state government, controls whether and how to remove illegal aliens from this country. As such, Arizona should not be involved in the process. Now, however, when the Trump Administration is enforcing immigration laws, which harms California’s agenda, California has no problem advancing the opposite position when it passed the laws designed to interfere with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws.

Law enforcement groups, including the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the National Border Patrol Council, also submitted amicus briefs in support of the Trump Administration. They note, in particular, that the new California laws that restrict state and local law enforcement agencies from fully cooperating with federal agents harms the agents’ ability to enforce federal immigration laws and protect our national security.

Showing that not everyone in California agrees with these new laws, thirteen California cities and elected officials sided with the Trump Administration. In their amicus brief, they explain that these new California laws “attempt not only to usurp the federal government’s exclusive and plenary power over immigration, but also to restrict amici and their constituents from supporting the federal government in the exercise of that power.”

The federal judge is expected to rule on the Administration’s motion in the coming weeks.

Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.

Edward White is Senior Counsel with the ACLJ and has been practicing law for more than twenty-five years. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he was a Thomas J. White Center for Law & Government Scholar and managing and student articles editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. Since 2000, White has been specializing in civil rights litigation, representing clients across the country primarily in the areas of free speech, religious freedom, sanctity of human life, and traditional family values.