Leading a coalition of 18-states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over state laws that intentionally obstruct the federal government’s ability to enforce the nation’s immigration law.  

In the brief, Attorney General Paxton and his fellow attorneys general highlight a 2012 case where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot stand in the way of federal agents following federal immigration law. In that case (Arizona v. United States), the state of California supported enforcement of federal immigration law.

“Dangerous sanctuary policies like California’s undermine the rule of law and endanger good law enforcement officers and the communities that need their protection the most,” Attorney General Paxton said. “It is incomprehensible that California finds criminal illegal aliens dangerous enough to detain, but then insists on releasing them back into the community to offend again instead of turning them over to federal immigration authorities for removal. If California prefers different immigration policies, it is free to take them up with the appropriate authority – Congress.” 

In contrast to California’s laws, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 4, which affirms the right and duty of law enforcement agencies throughout the state to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement federal detainer program. Last week, virtually all of SB-4 was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Attorney General Paxton was joined in the friend-of-the-court brief by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi, and Governor Paul LePage of Maine.

View the brief