What does California’s law mean for the nation?

After much debate in the press about what’s happening in California, I decided to go to the actual source of the debate and read SB54. The bill, now signed by the Governor, explicitly directs and funds efforts to not only reduce cooperation with Federal counterparts, but also to research ways in which the state can limit information for immigration enforcement. Now, depending on who you are and how you see policies affecting immigration, you’ve probably already made up your mind as to if this is a good or bad thing. This is an information black hole that California is creating which is uniquely Californian. This state has a population of 39.54 million (about 12 percent of the overall population) and a land and sea boundary vulnerable to international penetration. Many states disagree with the policies of the Federal government over the course of our nation’s history. Many will enact laws on a state level to alter what happens inside the state based on the power that the Constitution reserves to the states (namely the police powers). While this is a valid exercise of Constitutional authority, our history has shown and the Supreme Court has confirmed that the state’s authority must yield where the Federal authority already holds the field. Arizona and Alabama (and many others)  tried their hand at enacting laws to criminalize immigration citing the Federal government’s failure to enforce existing Federal Immigration law. As usual, a legal challenge ensued and they won in part and lost in part. California is no different. There is a US Supreme Court decision (Plyler v Doe) that guarantees the right to education for children under the equal protection clause even if they are undocumented. The court was doubtful that people were coming to America in order to educate their children. Since then, although the law stands, policy makers and legislators have tried to understand if this is happening and if so in what numbers. Alabama passed a law (which was later struck down) requiring the collection of a student’s status, California seeks to prevent the Federal government from learning this data. California takes it even father and seeks to prevent Federal authorities from learning about immigration status from hospitals, libraries, health facilities and courthouses. Does anybody see a problem with a mandate NOT to share information with Federal authorities? (**hint** read what this report has to say about “the wall”. Spoiler alert, it’s not a wall on our southern border. https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf)

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