California AG on reported ICE raids: Regardless of rumors, people have rights

California AG on reported ICE raids: Regardless of rumors, people have rights
© Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCalifornia leads states in lawsuit over Trump public charge rule Overnight Energy: Trump sparks new fight over endangered species protections | States sue over repeal of Obama power plant rules | Interior changes rules for ethics watchdogs California counties file first lawsuit over Trump 'public charge' rule MORE on Thursday issued a reminder amid rumors of increased immigration raids in the state that residents and law enforcement officials are expected to abide by state and federal privacy laws.

“Regardless of what the rumors are, the law is the law, the Constitution is the Constitution and people have rights,” Becerra said at a press conference.

Immigrants living in California should not believe they don’t have rights, Becerra added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Becerra held a press conference to address what he called rumors of intensified immigration raids in the state, particularly in Northern California. He largely avoided discussing the rumors themselves, and instead focused on ensuring that residents are aware of privacy laws. 

He noted a new state law enacted this year, AB450, which prohibits employers from disclosing information that would violate privacy rights of employees.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse if you violate it,” Becerra said.

He added that he expects federal immigration agents and other law enforcement officials to comply with the Constitution, and respect privacy rights of Californians.

Becerra last week praised a federal judge's decision to block the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants protection to certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

California has positioned itself as one of the staunchest opponents to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE’s policies. During the campaign, Trump pledged to crack down on immigration, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement  arrests increased within months of his taking office.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last October signed legislation making California a sanctuary state, meaning state law enforcement officials won’t enforce federal immigration law.

In addition to immigration, Becerra last year also fought the Trump administration on policies at the Environmental Protection Agency and the decision to roll back the requirement that employers include birth control coverage in employee health insurance plans.