California: The Next Civil War.

Many people will argue that the American Civil War of 1861 – 1865 was over “states’ rights.” It can be said that the Southern states objected to the Federal Government usurping the power and authority of those states under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Certainly the number one and over riding concern of the South was the “states’ right” in the area of slavery.

Perhaps the most accurate way to state the main causes of the Civil War was the South wanted to preserve slavery under “states’ rights” and the North wanted to protect and preserve the Union.

It is therefore repeating history that the new battleground over “states’ rights” is California.

At the start of this year, California officially declared itself to be a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants, vowing not to help the Federal government in removing illegal immigrants from the country. California has said that it will look at the immigration status of a person and perhaps more importantly, will not act on or honor detainers from the Federal government. In other words, if California picks up an illegal immigrant and the Feds want that illegal immigrant to be held until they can be transferred to a Federal detention facility, California won’t hold the person and let them go.

Not only did California officially become a “sanctuary state,” they made it illegal for businesses in the state to voluntarily report to or deal with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)

The state is serious about it too:

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Thursday that the sanctuary state will prosecute any private business that helps federal immigration authorities as they seek to enforce immigration laws that have existed for years.

Becerra’s threat comes as fears continue to mount among Democratic leaders in California that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are planning massive raids throughout the state, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Speaking at a press conference, Becerra said, “It’s important, given these rumors that are out there, to let people know – more specifically today, employers – that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office.”

At the beginning of the year, California became an official “sanctuary state” which prohibits cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“We will prosecute those who violate the law,” threatened Becerra.

As the Sacramento Bee details, the new law:

  • – Requires employers to ask immigration agents for a warrant before granting access to a worksite.
  • – Prevents employers from voluntarily sharing confidential employee information without a subpoena.
  • – Requires employers to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.
  • – Gives the attorney general and labor commissioner exclusive authority to enforce new provisions of state labor laws.
  • – Prohibits employers from re-verifying information on employment verification forms, unless compelled to by federal law.
  • While most people will concentrate on the immigration issue, we believe there is a First Amendment component to California’s actions as well.

    Think about this for a second: California is censuring people for reporting crimes and criminals.

    In order to censor speech, there must be a compelling governmental interest. There is not one here.

    Once again, we are talking about crimes and criminals. Does the State of California truly believe that the state is better off with criminals in the midst of the population? How ridiculous can that be?

    Secondly, immigration is a Federal concern, not a state concern. Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court decided the case of ARIZONA et al. v. UNITED STATES, in which the Court held that Arizona could not create or enforce its own laws on immigration. Only the Federal government could deal with immigration as required in the Constitution.

    It seems to us that California is trying to usurp Federal authority established by the Constitution as well as going against Supreme Court decisions.

    This is going to come to a head quickly as ICE seems to be looking at California for some immigration raids.

    Liberal California politicians and officials expressed outrage earlier in the week when it was reported ICE was planning to crack down on illegal immigrants and conduct sweeping raids across Northern California despite the state’s sanctuary status.

    There was some grandstanding by those “liberal California politicians” that ultimately failed:

    Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) even wrote a letter to [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting Director Thomas] Homan on Wednesday in which they denounced the “troubling reports” of impending immigration raids.

    “We firmly believe that law enforcement must prioritize dangerous criminals, not undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety,” the Democrats wrote. “Diverting resources in an effort to punish California and score political points is an abhorrent abuse of power, not to mention a terrible misuse of scarce resources.”

    But Homan offered a message of his own to Feinstein and Harris, noting that ICE’s decision to increase its resources in California “is in direct response to the sanctuary laws that forced me in that position.”

    “Let me say this about the [senators] that wrote the letter — I didn’t think Congress is in the business of enacting laws they don’t want law enforcement to enforce,” Homan said. “I’m enforcing the laws that Congress enacted. And for them to say that I shouldn’t be enforcing the laws, there would be no integrity in the entire system.”

    “We’re simply a law enforcement agency that has a sworn duty to enforce the laws of this country,” he added. “I’m doing what they tell me to do. I’m enforcing laws that they enacted. I’m enforcing laws that the president has signed.”

    The acting ICE director also asked whether there are any other federal or local law enforcement agencies around “where congressmen or elected officials or attorney generals say, ‘Do not enforce the law,’” noting that “no one asks the FBI not to enforce law.”

    Homan’s response is dead on and if the Senators had any sense of right and wrong, they would admit that Homan was right – his agency is following the law.

    No one does ask the FBI not to follow the law, but yet Feinstein and Harris think that laws they don’t like shouldn’t be enforced.

    Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

    California has placed itself in an untenable situation with the Federal government and its own citizens. In the end, the lawsuits and legal maneuvering will cost the taxpayers of California which is a shame.

    Then again, they are the ones that elected these clowns.

    The bottom line is that there is going to be a fight on the same basis of the Civil War – states’ rights vs. federal authority.

    History repeats itself.

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