U.S. Supreme Court snubs Trump on challenge to California 'sanctuary' laws
By Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Supreme Court on Monday defeated President Donald Trump in his legal showdown with the most populous US state and refused to hear his government's call for "protected areas" in California to prevent immigrants from being deported protect.
The judges issued a lower court ruling that upheld most of the three laws in the democratically governed state that restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The Trump administration had appealed this judgment to the High Court.
Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, has made his tough immigration policy a focus of his presidency, including tackling legal and illegal immigration.
His government sued California in a federal court in 2018, accused the state of illegally hindering the enforcement of the federal immigration law, and said the measures violated the U.S. Constitution's stipulation that federal laws take precedence over state laws.
The California sanctuary laws in question prohibit state private employers from voluntarily collaborating with federal immigration officials and prohibit local law enforcement agencies from exchanging information with federal officials about the release of potentially deportable immigrants.
Californian Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a democrat, has argued that laws protect privacy at work and prevent the state from being forced to enforce the federal immigration law
The Republican president has described California's protection laws as "deadly and unconstitutional," saying the state "provides a safe haven for some of the world's most vicious and violent criminals."
While his government has stated that such laws can hinder US agents' ability to detain criminals who have been convicted or convicted of crime, supporters have said that cooperation can unfairly involve immigrants in deportation procedures.
The lawsuit is part of Trump's feud with California, where he received only 32 percent of the vote in the 2016 elections.
Trump criticized California and other democratically run states and cities for their approach not only to enforce immigration regulations, but also to fight crime, homelessness, and the environment.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson; Additional reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham)
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