SAN FRANCISCO – A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today upheld the entirety of California Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), which enacted important limits on cooperation by state and local officials with federal immigration authorities, and significant portions of two other state “sanctuary” laws challenged by the Trump administration.  SB 54, signed into law in 2017, increases immigrant community cooperation with local law enforcement agencies by restricting their involvement in immigration enforcement.

In today’s ruling, the Ninth Circuit also upheld a measure that requires private employers to alert workers about inspections by federal immigration officials. Finally, the three-judge panel upheld a law subjecting civil immigration detention facilities to the same inspections as other detention facilities.

Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision demonstrates anew the Trump administration’s unlawful pretensions to imperial power.  California has the right to avoid being implicated in the administration’s nativist policy agenda that daily violates the rights of countless immigrants contributing to the growth and betterment of California.  Neither current federal law nor the Constitution forces any state to acquiesce in the thuggish mistreatment of immigrants promoted by Donald Trump.

“Just as Trump lacks the authority to override protective state laws like those upheld by the Ninth Circuit, he also lacks the legal authority to retaliate against states and cities that do not support his white nationalist agenda by transporting released detainees to those jurisdictions.  While these jurisdictions do not fear the immigrant detainees — who are not criminals despite Trump’s regularly-emitted lies to the contrary — the tactic, if implemented, would violate detainees’ rights to settle where they wish on release, and would tread unlawfully upon the right of states not to be bullied by the president.

“This administration should cease wasting taxpayer dollars on frivolous litigation designed to secure megalomaniacal powers for Donald Trump.  And Trump should put his tweeting fingers to better use than threatening those who disagree with his retrograde and racist policies.”