SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — A San Francisco-based U.S. appeals court appeared inclined Wednesday to reject a request by the Trump administration to block a California law that limits police cooperation with federal immigration officials.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals raised concerns about another state law extending protections to people in the country illegally. The Trump administration has sued California over three laws, saying they obstruct federal immigration efforts and urging the 9th Circuit to block them.

Judge Milan Smith said at a hearing that U.S. officials might find it frustrating that local authorities can’t help them take custody of people in the country illegally.

But “because it’s an obstacle doesn’t mean it’s illegal, right?” he asked an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Judge Andrew Hurwitz said the state law doesn’t allow local officials to interfere with federal efforts to take immigrants into custody, it just forbids them from “affirmatively helping.”

“They’re not required to be helpful, are they?” he asked.

Smith and another judge on the three-judge panel, however, expressed concerns about another state law requiring inspections of facilities where immigrants are detained. The panel did not immediately issue a ruling.

More than 50 immigrant advocates protested outside the federal courthouse during the hearing, some holding signs saying “ICE out of California,” referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Trump administration’s 2018 lawsuit was part of its broader efforts to crack down on so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that it says allow criminals to stay on the streets.

California officials say their policies promote trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement and encourage witnesses and victims to report crime.

The Justice Department argued in court documents that the Constitution gives the federal government pre-eminent power to regulate immigration, and the three laws obstruct those efforts.

“The bills, individually and collectively, mark an extraordinary and intentional assault on the federal government’s enforcement of the immigration laws,” Justice Department attorneys said in a filing.

U.S. Judge John Mendez in Sacramento kept two of the laws in place in July but blocked part of a third.

He ruled that California could limit police cooperation with immigration officials and require inspections of detention facilities where immigrants are held, but the state could not bar private employers from allowing immigration officials on their premises without a warrant.

The three laws were aimed at preserving “state resources for state priorities and to safeguard the health and welfare of state residents,” the California attorney general’s office said in a brief to the 9th Circuit. “Nothing in the Constitution or federal immigration law divests the state of the authority to make those choices.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the 9th Circuit for ruling against several of his policies. California has sued his administration dozens of times, mostly over immigration, the environment and health care.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments (2)
  1. My immigration infomercial:

    SANCTUARY CITIES: What a place to start a family. Illegal aliens, gang members, felons fleeing ICE are your neighbors. Emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

    THE STAMPEDE:
    Its Trumps fault!!! LOL. Democrats offer rewards, incentives so…..More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you’re child but will also give you state government assistance.

    THE WALL:
    The Border Patrol, DHS, ICE our Military & the Army Corps of Engineers have all endorsed the need for a wall numerous times almost nightly. However, immigration experts Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer disagree, saying the wall won’t work, oh and they also have zero ideas. I’ll go with the opinions of the border patrol not open borders crowd. Barrack Obama’s own border patrol chief, Mark Morgan, has repeatedly stated that walls work. They free up resources to focus on the points of entrances so they can detect more contraband and illegals. Check out the wall on youtube.

    TPS / DACA
    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action For Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs….there is nothing “temporary or deferred.” These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

    THE PRICE:
    Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done) then…. Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) and now, Police Cpl. Ronil Singh nothing will be done…who’s next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Google search “illegal alien crime” or “victims.” try not to puke the list is unbelievable. Preventable victimization’s.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

    *Congress is debating DACA and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank the parents and Barrack Obama.

    *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

    *Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, and more than 90 percent of those are in the United States illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

    *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

    * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens in poverty in many cases wait years because of non citizens for housing.

    *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search “cost of illegal immigration.”