California’s Sanctuary Advocates, Leaders and Lawyers Need Refresher Courses

Joe's picture

By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

December 15, 2016

Here’s a partial list of California’s most high-powered sanctuary city advocates:

  1. Governor Jerry Brown, J.D. Yale Law School

  2. Attorney General and Senate-bound Kamala Harris, J.D. University of California, Hastings College of the Law

  3. Incoming Attorney General Designate Xavier Becerra, J.D. Stanford Law School

  4. University of California President Janet Napolitano, J.D. University of Virginia

  5. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, J.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Kamala Harris, the “Queen of Sanctuary Cities.”

The five are lawyers who graduated from prestigious law schools. But somehow 8 U.S. Code § 1373 - Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service eludes them.

The code states that:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

Brown, Harris (who Ted Cruz called the “Queen of Sanctuary Cities”), Becerra, Napolitano and Lee are lawyers; I’m not. But I read and understand English. The code is clear. State and local officials cannot “prohibit” or “restrict” sending “information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

Incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a lawyer too. Sessions earned a J.D. from the University of Alabama. We’ll soon see who prevails in the furious debate about maintaining sanctuary policy at state and local levels. My money is on the federal government, Sessions and Donald Trump who campaigned on ending sanctuaries.

CAPS blog posts may be republished or reposted only in their entirety. Please credit CAPS as CAPS assumes no responsibility for where blog posts might be republished or reposted. Views expressed in CAPS blog posts do not necessarily reflect the official position of CAPS.