The California Supreme Court’s top judge has once again waded into a politically charged issue in a dastardly stand against the Trump administration, and that issue is, go figure, sanctuary cities.
The Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, stated on Tuesday that ICE officials must not be allowed to look in or around California court buildings for people whose presence in the country is unlawful.
Currently, federal policy enables ICE agents to detain people in and around courtrooms if the immigration agents believe that said person is illegally present. Given California’s immense number of sanctuary cities, this policy has been in effect in full force, The Sacramento Bee is reporting.
At a panel discussion held by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Cantil-Sakauye stated that “If no one ever speaks out, then we can never be the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The Chief Justice believes that the crackdown on sanctuary cities and illegal aliens will hurt public safety by disincentivizing those who are here unlawfully from coming forward as witnesses in other criminal cases.
“This is a national concern…that deserves more attention,” she said. “We’re seeing people not coming to court, not reporting to court, not coming for services (and) not coming to testify…this has an effect not only on the immediate case and the safety of communities, but people who live in the communities.”
In March, she wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and (then) DHS Secretary John Kelly regarding this policy which she believes is “baiting.”
The federal and state governments share power in countless ways, and our roles and responsibilities are balanced for the public good. As officers of the court, we judges uphold the constitutions of both the United States and California, and the executive branch does the same by ensuring that our laws are fairly and safely enforced. But enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair. They not only compromise our core value of fairness but they undermine the judiciary’s ability to provide equal access to justice. I respectfully request that you refrain from this sort of enforcement in California’s courthouses.
Some have criticized the move as politically motivated, according to the Bee.
The Chief Justice has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda. This being in spite of the fact that the judiciary is supposed to remain above partisan politics, and is to judge the legal merits of cases that come before them in court; it is not the job of a judge to create and stir political controversy like this, no matter what that judge’s personal or policy preferences might be.
According to The Daily Caller, both the Sheriff of Los Angeles county, along with A.G. Sessions offered criticisms of this kind of policy because it forces ICE to go out into communities actively searching for more illegal aliens, rather than facilitating processing of illegal aliens who are arrested in these cities.
The question now is if ICE will remain away from California courthouses, or if they will continue to follow federal policy regarding these kinds of inquiries in courts.
Keep an eye on this case, it may continue to escalate depending on the Trump administration’s next move.