One of the most liberal appeals courts in the United States slapped down California governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) push to effectively “abolish ICE” by ending private prisons in the state.
Newsom’s idea was too radical even for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found it interfered with the federal government’s prerogatives over immigration enforcement.
Newsom’s plan canceled
An 11-member panel of the 9th Circuit found that Newsom’s ban, enacted in 2019, unduly undermines the federal government’s powers under the Supremacy Clause. Three of the judges dissented.
Since ICE relies “almost exclusively on privately operated detention facilities in the state to maintain flexibility,” the court said, Newsom’s law would force the agency to “entirely transform its approach to detention in the state or else abandon its California facilities.”
The court’s opinion was written by an Obama appointee, Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen, who wrote that Newsom’s law gives California “a virtual power of review” over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s detention decisions.
She noted that California, which is a sanctuary state, already restricts local governments from partnering with ICE, severely limiting its enforcement options. Simply put, California “cannot exert this level of control over the federal government’s detention operations,” she said.
Reacting to the ruling, Newsom fumed that “for-profit, private prisons contribute to over-incarceration and do not reflect California values,” while California attorney general Rob Bonta, who wrote the law when he was in the state legislature, said he was “deeply disappointed.”
Newsom champions open borders
“We’re a state of refuge – a majority-minority state, where 27 percent of us are immigrants,” he said.
The liberal governor has also been stepping up rhetorical attacks on Republican governors Ron DeSantis (Fl.) and Greg Abbott (Tx.), who have been sending immigrants to liberal “sanctuary cities” to make a point about President Biden’s open borders agenda.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the Biden administration defended the federal government’s power against Newsom’s ban – but not because Biden plans to do anything about illegal immigration.
While Biden has flexed the federal government’s authority to target political opponents and push abortion, he has effectively abolished ICE in everything but name, resulting in a sharp drop-off in arrests and deportations even as record numbers of immigrants flood the southern border.