The Trump administration’s latest attack on California is an attack on all of us. Late Tuesday, the Justice Department sued the state of California over three immigration laws, calling them “unconstitutional.”
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) consulted on one of the targeted laws, state budget amendment AB 103.
The budget amendment gives the state attorney general independent oversight powers over immigration detention facilities. It also put a moratorium on all new contracts between state municipalities and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Trump administration is only attacking the oversight mechanism in the law, saying that Government Code 12532 is unlawful because it violates the Supremacy Clause. But there is a reason we need state-mandated reviews over our state’s county jails and private prisons that contract with ICE.
There is widespread unchecked abuse, such as unlawful strip searches and physical and medical abuse. And two California immigration detention facilities, the Adelanto Detention Facility and the Otay Detention Facility, rank in the top 5 worst immigration detention facilities for sexual assault, based on the level of complaints to the Department of Homeland Security.
This measure is essential in keeping the government in check and ensuring that people in detention are not subjected to civil and human rights abuses, such as sexual assault. As taxpayers, we have a right to know what is happening behind these prison walls and in our name.
“By targeting the budget amendment, the Trump Administration is declaring war on government accountability, transparency, and basic norms of decency,” said Christina Fialho, an attorney and co-founder/executive director of CIVIC.
We will stop at nothing to protect our immigrant communities from an administration that is hell-bent on operating with impunity and terrorizing immigrants to carry out its racially-motivated agenda.