The Department of Justice (DOJ) is striking back at sanctuary laws in various states that are designed to curtail cooperation between local law enforcement officials and federal immigration authorities. These laws restrict the sharing of information between local and federal authorities to protect unauthorized immigrants from being detained and deported. The DOJ has sued local and state government entities in California, New Jersey, and Washington to compel them to notify them and turn over immigrants with no legal immigration status whom they have arrested for other criminal offenses. To date, five states and counties in more than 30 states have passed sanctuary laws.
In its suits, the DOJ is arguing that sanctuary laws are unconstitutional and pose a barrier to the U.S. government’s ability to enforce immigration laws. These suits are an additional tool that the Trump Administration’s DOJ has used to punish sanctuary states and cities, along with the withholding of federal grant funds.
The DOJ first sued the state of California over these laws in 2018, alleging that state officials were preventing them from deporting non-citizen criminals. A federal judge in California dismissed most of the claims, but the DOJ has continued to appeal the suit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supporters of the sanctuary laws argue that cooperation with federal immigration authorities makes immigrants reluctant to report crimes and work with authorities in any manner. They feel that this lack of cooperation leads to decreased crime in the community, as immigrants are willing to work with police as victims or witnesses to serious crimes.
No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.