Last week, ICE agents deliberately undermined California law and arrested two people at the Sonoma County Superior Courthouse, with one taking place in a hallway as the man in question was on the way to a hearing, the Associated Press reported.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Trump Administration with little regard for the United States Constitution would have any respect for the California Constitution’s right of workers to workers’ compensation without regard to their legal status.
It’s a slap in the face to the work of California lawmakers in getting CAAA-sponsored Assembly Bill 668 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) signed by Governor Newsom last year to ensure access to courthouses for all Californians, including undocumented workers.
It also creates a chilling effect for people looking to pursue their state-mandated benefits and vindicate all of their legal rights, generating fear in others who will now be scared to step forward and report crimes, appear as witnesses and resolve legal matters.
In a flagrant statement, ICE officials essentially said they would continue to circumvent California law, which requires a warrant for any civil arrest inside a courthouse. It’s a blatant violation of due process and abuse of the rights of workers everywhere.
The courts decided long ago that all workers – including workers without papers – are protected by California’s workers’ compensation laws. As the organization that legally represents the most immigrant workers in California, CAAA saw the writing on the wall in the wake of the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive anti-immigration tactics and led the charge to sponsor the legislation over two sessions.
You can be sure we’ll be on the front lines again to fight this illegal activity to ensure our laws are upheld and all Californians can obtain their constitutional right to due process.