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California has gotten itself into a risky immigration fight with the feds

By in Press Enterprise on February 7, 2018

By The Editorial Board

One thing that hasn’t changed in 2018: Immigration remains a fraught issue across the country, but especially in California.

Here, the question of how much to enforce standing law, and how selectively, is often more than a matter of political conflict, striking at the heart of our shared morality for millions on both sides.

So it’s no surprise that, as the Trump administration has provoked California officials who consider themselves members of the “resistance” against White House policy, those officials have risen to the bait.

Decades of uneven enforcement and rhetoric, leading to the sharply contrasting approaches of the Obama administration, has ensured that plenty of gray area in immigration law has remained.

But rather than staking out defensible positions behind the state-level protections they secured for undocumented immigrants in the past, too many California officials take a more aggressive strategy guaranteed to trigger legal warfare with the Trump administration. That’s a battle likely to blow up in their faces. It is already bringing greater adverse scrutiny to those they say they want to protect.

Now the White House threatens to slap a Department of Justice subpoena on 23 jurisdictions — heavily Californian — if they refuse to voluntarily share details on their sanctuary policies.

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