San Francisco, one of the first sanctuary cities in the nation, plans to end its cooperation with federal immigration officials and start releasing illegal immigrants arrested for minor offenses before they can be picked up for deportation.
The city's decision is the latest development in a tug of war between several communities and the federal government over its controversial national program that automatically checks the immigration status of arrestees.
Well isn't that special. As I wrote last year, that's illegal under state law, and in that linked post I quote directly from California Penal Code:
834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.
(b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:
(1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.
(2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.
(3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.
(c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.
California's governor is also our former attorney general, so in theory he knows something about enforcing the law. So how about it, Jerry? Are you going to compel San Francisco to obey the law, or allow them to flout it and do whatever they want? If the latter, are you prepared for the consequences of starting down that slippery slope?