A Victory for the Rule of law. Today a California Appeals court ruled that the city of San Fransisco had to follow a state law requiring them to report illegal immigrants arrested on drug charges to the the Immigration and naturalization service. Now if we can just go after the rest of the sanctuary cities. Read the report below:
Washington, DC — October 23, 2008 City Must Follow State Law Requiring Police Officers to Report Suspected Aliens Arrested on Drug Charges to Feds
…Section 11369 does not require any state or local law enforcement agency to independently determine whether an arrestee is a citizen of the United States, let alone whether he or she is present in the United States lawfully or unlawfully. Nor does the statute create or authorize the creation of independent criteria by which to classify individuals based on immigration status… All of those determinations, as well as the duty to tell an arrestee who may be in this country unlawfully to either obtain legal status or leave, are left entirely to federal immigration authorities…the statute is therefore not an impermissible state regulation of immigration.
As a result of the appellate ruling, San Francisco must now end its sanctuary policy that protects aliens arrested for certain drug offenses from being reported to ICE. Section 11369 of the Health and Safety Code (Section 11369) states: “[w]hen there is reason to believe that any person arrested for a violation [of any of 14 specified drug offenses] may not be a citizen of the United States, the arresting agency shall notify the appropriate agency of the United States having charge of deportation matters.” However, as Judicial Watch argued on behalf of its taxpayer client, Charles Fonseca, the SFPD prohibited police officers from complying with this law. As evidence of the SFPD’s illegal behavior, Judicial Watch quoted a statement from the San Francisco Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that noted a “bare minimum of cooperation” between administrators of the San Francisco County Jail and ICE. “This landmark ruling strikes at the heart of the sanctuary movement for illegal aliens. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities are not above the law. This court ruling exposes the lie behind the argument that state and local law enforcement cannot help enforce immigration laws,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.