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California Slammed by Appeals Court Ruling Halting Immigration Power Grab

A federal court has stopped California dead in its tracks on a law intended to spring illegal immigrants from immigration detention. The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Monday ruled against a state law that would have prohibited privately run immigration detention facilities from operating within the state. The law, Assembly Bill 32, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019, would have prohibited the use of any private detention facilities within the Golden State. It would not only have applied to facilities contracted through the state, but to facilities contracted by the federal government, as well. It would also have mandated the closure of all privately contracted immigration detention facilities by 2028, according to The Associated Press. This proved objectionable to the federal government, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts out several detention facilities to private companies in the state. The federal government sued California jointly with The Geo Group, a contractor that runs immigration detention facilities on the part of ICE in the state. ICE itself operates only one detention facility in California, the ruling noted. The law would have likely spurred the release of thousands of illegal aliens if it were ever enforced. The 8-3 ruling against the state and for the federal government by the full appeals court comes after a three-judge panel ruling that overturned the state’s ban last year, according to ABC. California Attorney General Rob Bonta authored the legislation ending privatized immigration detention when he was a state lawmaker. The court’s ruling cited the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declaring that the law would have usurped powers over federal government operations through a state government veto. “AB 32 would override the federal government’s decision, pursuant to discretion conferred by Congress, to use private contractors to run its immigration detention facilities,” the court’s majority ruled. Only a small percentage of aliens who enter the country illegally or overstay a visa end up in immigration detention. ICE had 3.3 million illegals assigned to the “non-detained docket” as of August 2020, according to an agency detention report. Of these aliens, ICE had the resources “to monitor approximately 5 percent of the total non-detained population, or approximately 100,000 undocumented individuals,” the report stated. The Department of Homeland Security held around 32,000 aliens in immigration detention as recently as March, according to The Washington Times. ICE’s 2023 budget requests funds for 25,000 immigration detention beds, a minuscule segment of the broader illegal alien population. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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