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L.A. to Join Sanctuary City Lawsuit

Los Angeles has filed in federal court to join a lawsuit against the Department of Justice for threatening to withhold law enforcement funds from sanctuary cities.

If approved, L.A. will become the third major city to sue the government over the sanctuary city controversy. San Francisco and Chicago sued after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the DOJ would cut off grants to cities that do not cooperate with the Trump Administration's campaign against illegal immigrants.

"This administration will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety," Sessions said. "So it's this simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars."

California's Court of Appeal for the First District issued a ruling reversing a family court judgment terminating support to an immigrant spouse. Specifically, the court was forced to decide whether the I-864 affidavit of a spouse to their immigrating spouse creates an agreement that can impact a subsequent spousal support order.

The Court of Appeals found that the I-864 affidavit promising support was enforceable in a proceeding over spousal support, and created a separate obligation apart from spousal support. Additionally, the court found that the beneficiary of the I-864 promise to support is not under any legal obligation to mitigate their damages. The court explained that this reflects the concept that an immigrant's sponsor should shoulder the burden of the immigrant, not society. The case is IN RE: the Marriage of ASHLYNE and VIKASH KUMAR.

Judge Keeps Injunction in Place on President's Order Against Sanctuary Cities

Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not help President Trump's case against sanctuary cities that is playing out in San Francisco.

On Wednesday, Sessions gave a speech claiming sanctuary cities have more violent crime on average than those cities that cooperate with the president's campaign against illegal immigrants. On Thursday, a federal judge refused to lift an injunction against the president's order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.

"The fundamental problem I see is, as found in my initial order, Section 9 of the executive order is unconstitutional," Judge William Orrick III said, notwithstanding Session's latest memo on the order. "The attorney general's memo can't change that."

Will Sanctuary Laws Divide the Nation, Starting With California?

The California Senate passed a controversial sanctuary law, essentially directing local law enforcement not to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities.

The sanctuary law, which is headed to the Assembly and then the governor's desk for signature, may become the first statewide sanctuary law in the nation. In California, it would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration violations.

According to many news reports, more states are likely to follow. Law enforcement officials, who are caught in the middle, are not sure what to do.

"The federal government is going to have to step in and decide if this is worth a lawsuit, because I am not sure what we can do," said Donny Youngblood, the sheriff in Kern County and the president of the California State Sheriffs' Association. "All we are doing is providing information to the federal government so that they can do their job.

Deported Immigrants Will Get Due Process, Feds Foot the Bill

Immigrants who suffered mental disabilities and were forced to leave the United States will finally have their day in court -- with competent representation.

A Federal judge sitting in Los Angeles, Hon. Dolly Gee, approved a settlement that would allow hundreds of deported immigrants suffering from severe mental disabilities to return to the United States to contest their deportation with the aid of the ACLU. The nearly 900 plaintiffs brought a class action suit against against Eric Holder in 2011; and the ruling comes to them as a victory.

If you're facing minor drug charges in California, your outcome may be fairly predictable. The pattern typically goes something like this: get busted, plead guilty and undergo drug treatment. If successful, your charges will be dropped.

Except if you're a noncitizen. Pleading guilty to a drug charge could trigger your deportation. Even if the state wipes away your minor drug conviction, federal immigration law does not forget it. A proposed California law is seeking to change that, however, offering relief to noncitizens charged with minor drug crimes.

Calif. State Senator Wants Prop 187's Remnants Removed From Law

How many ridiculous, outdated, or otherwise unless laws remain on the books in any given state? Here in the golden-est of states, they may still be legion. But if California State Sen. Kevin de León is successful, the last vestiges of the one of the most troubling, Proposition 187, won't be one of them.

While 2013 appears to be "the year of doing nothing" in Washington, D.C., the California Immigrant Policy Center has lauded it "the 'year of the immigrant' in California, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Governor Brown stated: "While Washington waffles on immigration, California's forging ahead ... I'm not waiting." And forging he is, signing eight bills making sweeping changes to immigration laws in California.

To do, or not to do, that is the question.

The Supreme Court of California had to determine the correct standard a defendant had to meet in establishing prejudice, where he was not advised that his plea would affect his immigration status.

While the lower courts looked at whether the defendant's decision would have led to a more favorable result, the Supreme Court held that the determining factor is not what the result would have been, but what the defendant would have done, if properly advised.

Can Illegal Immigrants Practice Law in California?

The California Supreme Court will soon decide whether illegal immigrants can be licensed as attorneys in the state. The court issued an order on Wednesday directing the California Committee of Bar Examiners (Committee) to show cause why the court should admit an undocumented immigrant to the California State Bar, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Sergio Garcia, the undocumented immigrant at the center of the controversy, has passed the bar and the moral examination. His application to the California Bar, however, has stalled due to his immigration status. Garcia’s parents brought him to the U.S. when he was 17-months-old, and he has been waiting for a Green Card for 17 years, according to the ABA Journal.