A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld most of California's sanctuary laws, ruling a contested measure does not interfere with the enforcement of federal immigration policies in the state.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the bulk of the Trump administration's lawsuit in a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel — including an attempt to block the state law that restricts local law enforcement from notifying federal immigration authorities of the release dates of immigrant inmates
The decision upholds most of a lower court ruling from July 2018. The Trump administration sued California over the three state statutes in March 2016, arguing they impeded federal immigration authority.
"We continue to prove in California that the rule of law not only stands for something but that people cannot act outside of it," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "The Ninth Circuit ruled in our favor today, demonstrating that the rights of states and the 10th Amendment continue to thrive.”
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The judges also rejected the Trump administration's challenge to a state law that requires employers to alert employees before federal immigration inspections.
But the ruling did challenge part of a law that allows the state attorney general to inspect immigration detention facilities. The panel, in agreeing with the Trump administration, ruled that a subsection places an unlawful financial burden on the federal government.
In a statement to NPR, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the sanctuary state policy protects "criminal aliens."
"To be clear, ICE neither expects nor wants, local law enforcement agencies to participate in immigration enforcement in the community; but as law enforcement officers, we do expect our partners to participate in protecting public safety," ICE told NPR.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US appeals court rejects Trump administration lawsuit, upholds most of California's sanctuary laws