Former Maricopa County sheriff and current U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio lauded the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over its sanctuary state policy and called for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to increase its presence in the state “big time.”
“It is a great move by President Trump,” Arpaio told The Western Journal. “They want sanctuary for the whole state of California. They don’t want ICE involved at all, which is very sad because that is going to increase the crime if you can’t stop people.”
“I hope the president is successful,” he said. “I think he should take an extra step. I think he should just send the federal people in there big time and enforce the federal law regardless of what the state wants to do.”
“Bring in a hundred or two hundred ICE agents and keep enforcing the federal laws regardless of what the sanctuary state of California wants,” Arpaio added. “That would be my advice.”
“America’s Toughest Sheriff” noted the irony in the fact that the same legal justification used by the Obama Justice Department to target him and the state of Arizona regarding the enforcement of immigration law is being employed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions against California.
Politico reported the DOJ’s suit against California is modeled after the one brought by the Obama administration, which affirmed the federal government’s supremacy over the matter of immigration.
In 2010, then Attorney General Eric Holder sued Arizona over state law S.B. 1070, which — in accordance with federal law — required any aliens in the United States to have proper identification at all times, and empowered state law enforcement officers (including Arpaio’s sheriffs) to attempt to determine immigration status during “lawful stop, detention or arrest” for other suspected crimes.
Additionally, it barred state and local officials or agencies from restricting enforcement of immigration laws, and imposed penalties on sheltering, hiring or transporting unregistered aliens.
“Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility,” Holder stated at the time regarding his decision to sue Arizona over the law. “Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves.”
Holder further argued that the Constitution “forbids” Arizona from replacing federal policy “with its own state-specific immigration policy.”
The Supreme Court, by-in-large, agreed with the Obama administration’s argument in 2012, finding immigration law is the purview of the federal government. However, it did affirm the ability of state law enforcement officials to seek to ascertain the immigration status of those stopped for other suspected criminal activity.
“The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”
Sessions’ suit against California alleges obstruction of federal immigration enforcement and targets three “sanctuary state” focused laws passed by the legislature in 2017.
S.B. 54 prohibits state and local officials from sharing information with federal immigration officials and also bars the transfer of certain immigrants into federal custody.
A.B. 450 forbids private employers from cooperating with the federal government with immigration enforcement at the workplace.
Finally, A.B. 103 attempts to regulate detention facilities used by the federal government to hold immigration prisoners.
Arpaio wished Sessions’ DOJ well in the suit and believes it will likely be successful.
“I think the feds will win this one,” the lawman said, but noted the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals may prove problematic in the near term.
Arpaio is currently a candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona. His challengers for the Republican nomination include Congresswoman Martha McSally and former state Sen. Kelli Ward.
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