Skip to content

New State Direction On Releasing Information to ICE:
“California Values Act”

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order to cut federal funding to “sanctuary jurisdictions,” the “California Values Act,” Senate Bill 54, proposes new rules for California cities, counties, and school districts to limit the information they can provide to federal immigration authorities.

Today, the State Senate’s Public Safety Committee passed the bill out of committee. SB 54 is an “urgency” measure, meaning it will go into effect upon signature by the Governor, rather than waiting until January 1 of next year. The current draft of the bill does the following:

(1) Repeals Cal. Health & Safety Code section 11369 which states: “When there is reason to believe that any person arrested for violation of [any of 14 specified drug offenses] may not be a citizen of the United States, the arresting agency shall notify the appropriate agency of the United States having charge of deportation matters.” [1]

(2) Generally prohibits “State and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments” from using agency or department money, property or personnel to “investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.”

(3) Specifically prohibits collection of information about immigration status; detaining an individual based on an immigration “hold”; responding to notification or transfer requests for incarcerated persons; providing non-public information about a person’s release date, home address, or work address for immigration enforcement purposes; making arrests based on civil immigration warrants; and giving federal immigration officials access to interview individuals in agency or department custody, among other prohibitions.

(4) Permits responding to requests from federal immigration authorities for information “about a specific person’s previous criminal arrests or convictions where otherwise permitted by state law.”

(5) Permits transfers of persons to federal immigration authorities pursuant to a judicial warrant.

(6) Does not restrict any government entity or official from communicating information to federal immigration authorities regarding a person’s “citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an individual pursuant to Section 1373 and 1644 of Title 8 of the United States Code.”

(7) Model policies. Directs the Attorney General to publish model policies within 3 months, and directs all agencies to review and revise their policies within 6 months.

San Francisco Sues To Prevent Potential Cut To Federal Funding,
Citing Tenth Amendment.

On January 31, 2017, the City and County of San Francisco filed a lawsuit to challenge President Trump’s recent Executive Order, which directs cuts in federal funding to “sanctuary jurisdictions.”

The Complaint is entitled City and County of San Francisco v. President Trump, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Acting Attorney General of the United States, Case 3:17-cv-00485, United States District Court, Northern District of California.

President Trump’s Executive Order authorized the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security to withhold federal grant funds from “sanctuary jurisdictions.” The Order defined “sanctuary jurisdictions” as jurisdictions that violate 8 U.S.C section 1373 or otherwise interfere in federal immigration enforcement.

The City’s lawsuit seeks a declaration that the City is in compliance with 8 U.S.C. section 1373, which prohibits restrictions on communicating with ICE about a person’s immigration status, or in the alternative, that “Section 1373 is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to state and local Sanctuary City laws such as San Francisco’s.”

The Complaint contends that section 1373 is unconstitutional in violation of the Tenth Amendment because it “commandeers state and local governments” by: limiting authority to “determine duties and responsibilities” of employees,” requiring employees to “use state time and resources to assist in the enforcement of federal statues,” and requiring provision of information that is available to employees “only in their official capacity.”

The Complaint also contends that the President’s Executive Order violates the Tenth Amendment by denying federal funding to state and local jurisdictions that refuse to comply with detainer requests, under which federal immigration authorities ask local jails to hold individuals beyond their release date for pick up. (8 C.F.R. Section 287.7) The Complaint alleges that the Order unlawfully compels enforcement of “a federal program by imprisoning individuals . . . when those individuals would otherwise be released from custody.”

[1] These drug offenses include violations of Health and Safety Code sections 11350, 11351, 11351.5, 11352, 11353, 11355, 11357, 11359, 11360, 11361, 11363, 11366, 11368 and 11550.

For more information contact Jon Holtzman (, 415-678-3807), or Linda Ross (, 510-995-5807).