U.S. immigration officials issued over 50,000 detainer requests in California for the fiscal year 2019. Without cooperation, authorities have to stake out jails and prisons in order to detain non-citizens.
The dispute over the California Values Act, or SB 54, is ideologically scrambled, featuring a conservative administration arguing for strong federal power against California liberals making a states-rights defense.
“The federal government has plenary and exclusive power over immigration, naturalization and deportation,” the government’s petition to the high court reads. “The supremacy of the national power in this area is made clear by the Constitution, was pointed out by the authors of The Federalist in 1787, and has been given continuous recognition by this Court.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in April.
Three provisions of SB 54 are at stake in the case. The law bars state officials from: sharing information about a person’s release from custody with immigration agents; sharing personal information like physical descriptions or employment history; and transferring individuals to immigration authorities without a court warrant. The law does not apply to certain violent criminals.