The RESIST movement in the California state legislature seems to be getting into something of a rut lately. They know they want to pass laws to obstruct the President at every turn, but by now they seem to be running out of fresh material. Their latest effort to enforce their sanctuary state status is aimed at further hindering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they seek to detain illegal aliens in or around courthouses. The method they’ve chosen to accomplish this is a bit dubious, however. The state is seeking to prevent the courts from revealing the citizenship status of individuals called to testify or otherwise participate in trials. (CBS Sacramento)
The state legislature passed another measure Thursday, to counter the Trump Administration’s tough immigration policies.
The bill seeks to protect immigrants who take the witness stand in court. It’s billed as a measure that will keep the public safe.
Democratic lawmakers say the public is better off when witnesses or victims of crime can testify in court. But in recent years advocates say immigrants are refusing to go to court, for fear of being detained by ice.
“We know that ICE is in our courthouses,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D- San Francisco).
So under this law immigrants will be barred from revealing their citizenship status unless the judge rules that the information would be “relevant to the case.” Here’s the first question we should be asking the state legislature. Since when did we begin passing laws regarding courthouse procedures which only apply to certain individuals of a particular class and not the entire population? Even if this scheme were appropriate, shouldn’t they be barring anyone from revealing their citizenship status? How can you only make this apply to immigrants?
Let’s leave that question aside for a moment and point out why this law would be relatively meaningless. The goal is obviously to prevent ICE from “finding out” that the person is in the country illegally and taking them into custody. But here’s a news flash for you. ICE isn’t hanging out in courtrooms and twiddling their thumbs while waiting to see if some random witness happens to turn out to be an illegal alien. They generate lists of leads on specific individuals who are illegal aliens, generally the ones with criminal records and outstanding warrants. Then they figure out where they might be so they can apprehend them.
If they discover that one of the people on the list has a court date coming up they may very well send agents to pick them up at the courthouse, particularly if they’ve been unable to locate their residence or place of work. When they show up at the courthouse they already know the suspect’s name and their immigration status. They don’t need the person to announce it from the witness stand.
Are California’s legislators at the point where they’ve just run out of ideas to generate headlines and demonstrate how much they despise the President? Have some of them been partaking of the recently legalized pot during their planning sessions? This is a pointless law and a waste of the taxpayers’ time and money.