In a bold effort to counter the Trump administration’s aggressive and cruel agenda to deport immigrants and their families or imprison them in “detention centers” throughout California, state lawmakers passed several laws to protect the health and safety of immigrants, documented or not, from the administration’s legally suspect and dangerous immigration policies. The Trump administration sought to block California’s laws in federal court, but a district judge refused to do. The case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with the Trump administration urging it to overturn the district court’s ruling and block California’s laws.
The National Health Law Program filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit urging it to uphold the district’s ruling in U.S. v. California, stating that California’s interest in protecting immigrants’ health, 64 percent of the state’s 10 million immigrants are in its labor force, and in turn public health at large strongly favors sustaining these laws.
Part of California’s immigration laws include ensuring that the federal government’s detention centers in the state operated by ICE protects the health and safety of immigrants, who are being held by the Trump administration for deportation. As the brief documents, citing U.S. Inspector General reports, ICE has an atrocious track record of treating detained immigrants in horrific ways, including denying care to a pregnant woman.
“California’s laws help create a safe and inclusive community for immigrants in the State, which protects the immigrant population and the State as a whole against a myriad of detrimental health consequences,” the National Health Law Program’s amicus brief states. The state’s interest in protecting its residents outweighs the Trump administration’s hostile and legally suspect efforts to deport immigrants, and therefore the district court’s action refusing Trump’s request for an injunction against the laws should be upheld.
The brief is joined by more than a dozen public interest advocacy groups, including Asian Law Alliance, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, California National Organization for Women, Desert AIDS Project, Disability Rights California, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Equality California, Florida Legal Services, Inc, In Our Own Voice, National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and National Hispanic Medical Association.