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The Other Positive News from the Supreme Court: The Landmark California Values Act Will Stand

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Yesterday, in addition to the powerful decision protecting LGBTQ employees, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging California’s so-called sanctuary law by a strong 7-2 margin. The news is a victory for pro-immigrant policymaking and means that California’s landmark California Values Act will keep improving the lives and safety of immigrant families and the broader community.

As the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board noted:

Since his inauguration in 2017, President Trump has waged a mean-spirited, costly and unnecessary war against undocumented immigrants — many of whom have been living in this country for years and have been hard-working, law-abiding members of the their communities…..Trump has repeatedly tried to cajole or order local governments to be his boots on the ground in this wrongheaded campaign to round up and deport people living in the country illegally.

…Communities are safer when police and local law enforcement officers stay out of the deportation business. Happily, the Supreme Court allowed California to continue that approach, rather than forcing local cops and deputies to join in the administration’s maximalist enforcement regime and damage their relationships with the immigrant communities they protect.

The news was celebrated by a host of organizations and leaders whose advocacy and hard work led to the law’s passage and protection, including:

  • The ICE out of a California Coalition noted, “The court’s action today is a blow to the Trump administration’s racist agenda, and a rebuke to federal attempts to coerce local governments into carrying out its dirty work. In rejecting the administration’s lawsuit, the court has recognized the power of local and state governments to use local resources for the common good and protect residents from federal abuses of power.”
  • Angelica Salas, executive director of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), said, “Even in these times of hatred, division and extremism, the Supreme Court can still speak for basic justice, precedent, and sober principle. We hope for the same standard when the court rules in the matter of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).”
  •  The author of the law, former California state lawmaker Kevin De León declared the Supreme Court’s rejection of Trump’s challenge as an “unequivocal victory” saying, “We already have enough issues with law enforcement being weaponized against the communities that they were intended to protect.”
  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra hailed the Supreme Court Decision and said in a statement, “We’re protecting Californians’ right to decide how we do public safety in our state. The Trump Administration does not have the authority to commandeer state resources. We’re heartened by today’s Supreme Court decision.”
  • Salvador G Sarmiento, campaign director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), said, “Today’s rebuke of Trump’s frivolous lawsuit removes any doubt about the fact that California acted within its constitutional authority. Trump’s racism is a loser, in the streets and courts.”