The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, one of the most liberal courts in the nation, struck down a California law that sought to shut down most Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers holding foreign nationals in irregular situation.
Sitting in a bench, the Ninth Circuit found that California’s AB 32 — passed in 2019 and intended to effectively shut down all ICE detention centers across the sanctuary state — violates the Supremacy Clause by flouting federal detention law. ‘immigration.
A three-judge panel had previously struck down the law, but that decision was overturned by the entire Ninth Circuit and the case was reconsidered by all 11 justices. On Monday, the court ruled that AB 32 would give California a veto over ICE’s ability to detain illegal aliens.
The tribunal writes in its decision 8-3:
Under the direction of Congress, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts extensive detention operations, a substantial portion of which takes place in California. Due to significant fluctuations in the population of detained non-citizens and other challenges unique to California, ICE relies almost exclusively on private detention facilities in the state to maintain flexibility.. But in 2019, California enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 32, which states that “a person shall not operate a private detention center in the State.” AB 32 would prevent ICE contractors from continuing to run detention centersforcing ICE to entirely transform its approach to detention in the state or abandon its California facilities. [Emphasis added]
AB 32 would overrule the federal government’s decision, pursuant to congressional discretion, to use private contractors manage its immigration detention centres. It would give California ‘virtual power of review’ over ICE detention decisionsand leave the “discretion of federal officers [to] be exercised. . . only if the [state] approved. Pub. Uses. Common, 355 US 534, 543 (1958). Whether analyzed under intergovernmental immunity or preemption, California cannot exercise this level of control over federal detention operations. AB 32 therefore violates the supremacy clause. [Emphasis added]
“We commend the entire court for recognizing that the intended effect of this law – ending federal detention of aliens in California – is what makes it unconstitutional,” said Dale Wilcox, Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), in a statement.
“Under our Constitution, a state cannot interfere with – let alone nullify – the enforcement of federal immigration law, and we are glad that the California law that attempts to do just that is no more,” said Wilcox.
Last year, a number of sanctuary states followed California in attempting a statewide ban on ICE detention centers, including New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, New York and the Maryland. The latest ruling will mean that Washington – a state that is also in the Ninth Circuit – may also not be allowed to force ICE to shut down its detention centers. And federal courts covering other states could adopt the Ninth Circuit analysis.
The case is GEO Group, Inc. v. Newsom20-56172 of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.