California is in the midst of a debate as to whether or not to make itself a “Sanctuary State.” Introduced by Senator “Ghost Gun” DeLeon, SB-54 would essentially make immigration policy for California separate – and in opposition to – Federal Law and policy.
We’ve heard this argument before. In Arizona a few years ago, the State got tired of the Feds not enforcing immigration law, and attempted to set it’s own law as State policy. The Supreme Court slapped it down and we were reminded from coast to coast that the Federal government is “in charge” of immigration and, oh by the by, the whole Supremacy Clause…
Now they Government has changed hands – as it tends to do – and the same people who celebrated Arizona’s defeat are proposing legislation to do exactly the same thing. But there are are some big problems with the idea and the bill. In 1842 The State of Pennsylvania charged a man named Prigg under a law it had passed to defeat the Fugitive Slave Law of 1783. The Court would rule that Pennsylvania was bound by the Constitution to uphold the abhorrent Fugitive Slave Law, but… it left the State an out.
In short, the argument was virtually the same as today – whose law is supreme? The State’s or the National Governments? And does California’s idea of SB54 have any validity at all?