A challenge by the Ocean and Cape May counties to the Murphy Administration’s policy severely restricting local law enforcement’s ability to work with ICE has been turned back the 3rd Circuit.
“For a federal law to preempt state law—regardless of the type of preemption claimed—it must satisfy two requirements,” a three-judge appellate panel explained in its Monday ruling. “First, the federal law ‘must represent the exercise of a power conferred on Congress by the Constitution.’ Second, because the Constitution ‘confers upon Congress the power to regulate individuals, not States,’ […] the federal law ‘must be best read as one that regulates private actors.’”
“The District Court did not err when it dismissed Appellants’ federal claims,” the panel added. “Supreme Court precedent permits a political subdivision to bring Supremacy Clause-based claims against its creator state in federal court. But regardless of the wisdom of the Immigration Trust Directive, it is not preempted because 8 U.S.C. §§ 1373 and 1644 regulate only state action. We will therefore affirm the District Court’s order.”
The 2018 “Immigrant Trust Directive” prevents local law enforcement from, for example, stopping an individual solely on the basis of immigration status. It also prevents ICE from using local police databases.