Friday, December 9, 2016

CALIFORNIA'S STANCE ON IMMIGRATION: When Social Justice and Politics Unite to Uphold the U.S. Constitution

The following is excerpted, shortened, and slightly edited from a New York Times Editorial, published Dec. 9, 2016.  

Three bills were introduced this week in the California State
Legislature, seeking to protect the rights of immigrants.

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. 

A third bill 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 also upholding the First Amendment, so day laborers can solicit work on a sidewalk. 

Finally, it allows local police to keep the trust and cooperation of crime victims and witnesses, who will not fear every encounter as a prelude to deportation.


What I like about these proposals is that they seek to uphold both a set of social justice values and the inclusiveness of the U. S. Constitution. At the same time, none of these would obstruct the legal acts of the federal government or of its agents. Immigrants would be subject to the law, just as non-immigrants are. That's as it should be.    

If you want to read the New York Times editorial in its entirety, here's a link: 

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