For immediate release:
June 19, 2018
Contact: Jon Rodney, CIPC,; Jose Servin, CIYJA,; Armando Carmona,, NDLON

Immigrant rights groups mobilize to #DefendSanctuary at first hearing in Sessions’ lawsuit vs. CA

Legal experts, community and faith leaders available for interviews

What: On June 20, the U.S. District court in Sacramento will hold the first hearing in the Trump administration’s widely-criticized lawsuit challenging parts of three pro-immigrant laws in California. Outside of the hearing, community groups from across the state will stage a vibrant rally, complete with musical performances, to celebrate immigrants’ resilience and to honor California’s values of compassion and inclusion.

When: Wednesday, June 20

  • 8:00 AM: Interview availability; Musical Performance by “Los Jornaleros del Norte”
  • 8:30 AM: Rally begins, will include interfaith ceremony.
  • 10:00 AM: Hearing begins.

Where: Robert T. Matsui Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento, CA

Who: Organized by the ICE Out of CA coalition, a statewide alliance fighting back against the federal government’s cruel deportation machine and the criminalization of immigrants. The coalition helped pass SB 54, the “Sanctuary state” law. Organizations include Asian Law Caucus, CA Immigrant Policy Center, CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, PICO CA, ACLU Foundations of California, and community partners from across the state.

Confirmed speakers include: Rev. Deborah Lee, Executive Director, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity; Nan-Hui Jo, Survivor of Domestic Violence; Floricel Ramos, immigrant mom detained 11 months; Nancy Mayer, Freedom for Immigrants; Angela Chan, Asian Law Caucus; Grisel Ruiz, Immigrant Legal Resource Center; Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, David Huerta, President of SEIU-USWW

Background: Last year, California passed several laws to protect residents from the Trump administration’s cruel deportation machine, building on years of inclusive policy-making. Immigrant communities themselves were crucial to these victories. In March, the Trump administration sued to challenge specific sections of three of these pro-immigrant laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the suit at a controversial meeting with law enforcement in Sacramento, raising questions about efforts by anti-immigrant forces to influence policy in California. Of note, the suit came weeks after Sessions made comments about the “Anglo-American heritage” of Sheriffs’ offices.

On June 20, the U.S. District court will consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction. The federal government is only challenging parts of the three laws, which remain fully in effect. Nearly 50 local governments in California and nationwide, plus eight states and Washington, DC, have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of California’s position.

SB 54 (de León), also known as the “Sanctuary State” law or the California Values Act, sets a minimum standard across the state to limit local law enforcement from acting as deportation agents. This helps protect due process for everyone – including immigrants. A recent study from the Migration Policy Institute found that “sanctuary” policies like SB 54 have successfully reduced deportations. While an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center has been attempting to orchestrate opposition to SB 54 in certain conservative areas of the state, recent polling has found a solid majority of voters support the “sanctuary state” law. The Trump administration’s previous attacks on “sanctuary” jurisdictions have met a series of defeats in court.

AB 103 challenges the indignity of detention, requiring the AG to monitor all facilities in the state, which have come under increasing scrutiny for serious abuses, and prohibiting the expansion of detention facilities operated by local governments. Profits of private prison companies have skyrocketed under the Trump administration.

The Immigrant Worker Protection Act, AB 450 (Chiu), helps uphold rights for all workers. Among other protections, it requires employers to request a judicial warrant from immigration agents before allowing them access to private areas of the worksite and requires employers to request a judicial warrant or subpoena before releasing private employee records.

Interview availability: Leading up to the hearing, directly affected community members, legal experts and key organizers are available for advanced interviews.