New York Times: California Looks to Lead the Trump Resistance

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In immigrant-rich communities across America, there are more legitimate fears for the immigrants. Bills introduced this week in the California State Legislature confront them directly. One would create a program to finance legal services for immigrants fighting deportation. Another would provide training and advice on immigration law to public defenders’ offices. Come the purge — and Mr. Trump has said he is going after two million to three million people immediately — many will need lawyers.

The third bill, potentially the most consequential, seeks to ensure that California will never be an accomplice to mass deportation. Its sponsor, Kevin de León, the California Senate president pro tempore, calls it the California Values Act, befitting a state that is nearly 40 percent Latino, and where one in four residents is foreign-born. It would bar state or local resources from being used for immigration enforcement, a strictly federal duty. No state or local law enforcement agency would be allowed to detain or transfer anyone for deportation without a judicial warrant.

Nothing in the bill would obstruct the federal government. This is not a nullification of federal laws or a rebellion against the Constitution. It’s upholding the Fourth Amendment, preventing unreasonable search and seizure, so mothers and fathers can go to work and children go to school without fear of losing one another. It’s upholding the First Amendment, so day laborers can solicit work on a sidewalk. It’s allowing the local police to keep the trust and cooperation of crime victims and witnesses, who will not fear every encounter as a prelude to deportation.

“Nobody wants bad people in our communities or neighborhoods or in our streets,” Mr. de León said, particularly the local and state police. “They’ll always go after the rapist, the violent criminal drug dealer; we’ve made that abundantly clear.”
 

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