Victory Against ACLU, LAPD in Illegal Immigration Sanctuary Policy Lawsuit

Judicial Watch has been the leading force fighting against illegal alien sanctuary policies. We’ve scored victories in Maryland, Texas, Arizona, Virginia, and New Jersey, to name just a few states where we’ve battled illegal immigration activists toe-to-toe. (Our message is simple: politicians can’t expend taxpayer dollars to support illegal activity.)

But of course, one of the major “hot zones” for illegal immigration chaos is Southern California, and Judicial Watch earned a key victory there recently.

Per the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles:

A Superior Court Judge Friday refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the LAPD’s controversial Special Order 7. That order allows the LAPD to waive the law that says police must impound a car of an unlicensed driver for as long as a month.

The judge — Terry Green — said he was uncomfortable ruling without having more information. Allowing the lawsuit to go forward is a setback for supporters of the order, including undocumented immigrants’ rights groups, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.) They have argued that impounding the car of an undocumented immigrant, for example, creates a financial hardship.

The LA Police Protective League and Judicial Watch are challenging the order.

(The ACLU, on behalf of the Coalition for Humane Immigrants’ Rights of Los Angeles and LA Voice, has intervened to defend the LAPD policy.)

According to CBS, the judge’s discomfort stems from the fact that Special Order 7 might just violate state code – which is precisely the point Judicial Watch made in its original complaint:

According to the California Constitution and California Vehicle Code § 21, “a local government has no authority to regulate or control any matter covered by the California Vehicle Code unless such authority is expressly granted by the State of California….Because the provisions of Special Order 7 are not within the purview of any express authorization granted by the State of California Defendants…were without authority to enact Special Order 7…”

Under current policy, as mandated by the California Vehicle Code, the vehicles of unlicensed drivers can be impounded for 30 days. However, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, under the policy enacted by Police Chief Beck and the Board of Police Commissioners, “vehicles of unlicensed drivers will only be impounded for a day, if that person has insurance, valid identification, has not caused an accident and has not been cited previously for unlicensed driving. An exception may be made in some cases if a licensed driver is immediately available to drive the vehicle away.”

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, filed May 8, 2012, with the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles, seeks to stop the use of taxpayer funds to enforce Special Order 7:

Plaintiff, a taxpayer and resident of the City of Los Angeles, seeks to enjoin Defendants from expending taxpayer funds or taxpayer-financed resources to implement, enforce, maintain, or otherwise carry out the provisions of Special Order 7, which was issued by the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) on April 10, 2012 and which became effective on April 22, 2012. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that Special Order 7 is preempted by article XI, section 7 of the California Constitution and California Vehicle Code § 21, and therefore is unlawful and void.

The police union, The Los Angeles Police Protection League, has also filed a lawsuit to stop the policy from being implemented.

We are pleased the court will give this lawsuit the serious consideration it deserves. We very much look forward to making our case in court to put an end to this unlawful and shameless waste of taxpayer dollars.

At a time when taxpayer dollars are stretched beyond the limit, the last thing the State of California should be doing is spending scarce resources to support an illegal alien sanctuary policy. Special Order 7 is a slap in the face to anyone who has ever been harmed by an unlicensed illegal alien driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is putting the needs of illegal aliens ahead of the safety of the citizens of Los Angeles.

And this is not the first time either.

Judicial Watch previously sued the LAPD over Special Order 40, a policy that prohibits police officers from “[initiating] police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.” Special Order 40 prevents officers from inquiring about the immigration status of an individual and from contacting federal immigration officials about an individual’s immigration status. The result of this policy and others like it? Illegal alien criminals are allowed to roam free and put the law-abiding at risk.

We can now move forward with this case.


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