California Court of Appeal Refuses to Invalidate Local Rules Prohibiting Police Officers from Contacting Individuals for the Sole Purpose of Determining Immigration Status


On June 17, 2009, the California Court of Appeal, Second District held that federal law does not preempt municipal rules that prohibit police officers from contacting an individual for the sole purpose of determining the individual's immigration status. Specifically, the Court addressed the legality of Los Angeles Police Department Special Order 40, which governs interactions with illegal immigrants. SO40 prohibits LAPD officers from initiating police action with the sole objective of discovering the immigration status of an individual, and arresting individuals for illegal entry into the United States. In sum, the Court found that LAPD SO40 does not violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that the rule is not preempted by federal statute. Read the text of the full opinion here.

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