Sanctuary States

Rose Cuison Villazor & Alma Godinez-Navarro
Date of Publication: 
December, 2019
Source Organization: 

This Symposium Essay analyzes California's SB 54 and the New Jersey Attorney General's Immigrant Trust Directive and compares the ways in which they minimize the use of state, county and local resources in cooperating with federal immigration authorities to enforce immigration laws. In examining these two laws, this Essay makes three points. First, in order to better understand the work that SB 54 and the AG Directive are doing in resisting the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies, these measures need to be situated within the broader framework of state and local governments as stakeholders in federal immigration regulation and enforcement. Part II explains that these two states exemplify two different models of “sanctuary” or non-cooperation laws. SB 54, as a piece of general state legislation, is broader than the AG Directive in imposing limitations on state, county and local officers’ ability to enforce federal immigration laws. Part III notes that both California and New Jersey states must contend with both federal preemption concerns as well as local government resistance to state laws.

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Villazor, R. C., & Godinez-Navarro, A. (2019). Sanctuary states. Southwestern Law Review. Retrieved from