ICE Defies California Sanctuary Law, Makes Arrests at Courthouse
Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested two people at a courthouse in Northern California on Tuesday, defying a ‘sanctuary state’ statue that attempts to ban immigration law enforcement from making arrests at court facilities.
The arrests were made at the Sonoma County Superior Court.
California ultimately lacks jurisdiction to dictate ICE’s terms of operation in the state. It has the ability to decline cooperation with the federal agency, but the constitutional case for dictating where the immigration enforcement agency can make arrests is dubious at best.
The agency provided a statement on the matter to Newsweek, refusing to apologize for enforcing the immigration laws of the United States, even if the state of California sees them as inconvenient.
“Our officers will not have their hands tied by sanctuary rules when enforcing immigration laws to remove criminal aliens from our communities,” said San Francisco field officer David Jennings. California’s sanctuary laws “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.”
Jennings made it clear that ICE has every legal right to enforce federal law.
A California public defender condemned the arrests, claiming that ICE’s operations would make it impossible for California’s law enforcement to maintain a working relationship with illegal immigrants.
ICE is ramping up operations to enforce immigration law in municipalities that have “sanctuary” laws. The agency is beginning a cooperative program with Customs and Border Patrol to work with one of CBP’s elite tactical units in sanctuary cities.