CA Law Banning Private Prisons Overturned

In a 2-1 decision last week a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a California law phasing out private detention facilities.  Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that the divided panel held that AB 32, signed into law by Gavin Newsom in 2019, unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government’s exclusive authority to enforce immigration law.  California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who authored AB 32 while serving in the state Assembly, vowed to continue the fight to uphold the law, presumably with an appeal of the panel’s decision to the full Ninth Circuit.

An attorney for the GEO Group, a private prison management company which filed the suit, told reporters “The court of appeals decision today confirms that the United States constitution place immigration policy within the exclusive domain of the federal government and that California’s law prohibiting the federal government from contracting with private companies for the detention of illegal immigrants is therefore unconstitutional.”

Among the groups supporting enforcement of AB 32 is The Dignity Not Detention coalition, which includes California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Immigrant Defense Advocates (IDA), Immigrant Defense Project (IDP), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Resilience Orange County, Freedom for Immigrants, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN), Pangea Legal Services, and others.  Who, one wonders, funds all these groups?





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