Andy Ayers and Barbara Weiner: State Power Over Immigration Law (Capital Pressroom | April 3, 2018)
Government Law Center Director
Andy Ayers and
Barbara Weiner, Attorney Emeritus at the Empire Justice Center, joined Susan Arbetter on the
Capitol Pressroom after the GLC's Anderson Breakfast Series panel on April 3, 2018, to explain significant ways in which states and local governments can have an impact on immigration law and policy.
Ayers points out how states and municipalities engage extensively with federal law enforcement through sanctuary city conversations and how local law enforcement bodies can respond to ICE in a variety of ways, including actively resisting, remaining neutral, and actively assisting. States have immense power to influence the daily lives of immigrants, for example by increasing protections for immigrant children separated from their families and through lawsuits filed against the federal government on immigration issues.
Weiner welcomes the State's proactive stance in providing public benefits in places where the federal government has stepped back because of the positive impact this has on the safety and economic vitality of families and communities. Immigrants contribute to shared resources, for example by paying taxes and helping stem population loss, currently a huge concern in Upstate New York. Immigrant victims of crimes can be fearful of reporting the incidents to law enforcement, making us all less safe.
Listen to the segment
Click here for a summary of the GLC's Anderson Breakfast Series panel discussion on this topic
Click here to see the GLC's Explainers on Immigration Law and Policy
GLC Director contributes to news stories on sanctuary cities
Albany's Police Chief Insists City is Complying with Immigration Law (NewsChannel 13 | Jan. 25, 2018)
Andy Ayers, the Director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, has a few ideas [on why the city of Albany was one of 23 municipalities in the state to receive a letter from the DOJ this week requesting documents showing whether their law enforcement official are restricting information sharing with federal immigration].
"One is because they think there might in fact be more information that hasn't already been provided," Ayers said. "And the other is to put pressure on cities that identify themselves as sanctuaries."
Local Salvadorians Seek Options After End of TPS (Albany Times Union | Jan. 14, 2018)
"If you're somebody who's on TPS [temporary protective status] right now and lucky enough to have a lawyer you can talk to, you should be talking to them about other statuses you can apply for," said Andrew Ayers, professor and director at Albany Law School. "But TPS is one of the less desirable forms of status, so if somebody had another basis my guess is they already would have been applying for it."
Albany Stands Firm on Sanctuary City Status (Albany Times Union | Jan. 9, 2018)
"All of this is very much a gray area because nobody has tried it before," said Andrew Ayers, an Albany Law School director and professor. "Federal government cannot compel states, or localities, to implement a federal government program."
Ayers said this argument was tested when it came to background checks for firearms. It was determined a federal law can't be passed saying state officials must perform background checks, because the state is a separate entity, he said.
"The federal government can't tell state law enforcement to inquire about people's immigration status, report back to the feds about immigration status," Ayers said. "That would be like deputizing state officials against their will."
Albany Law Holds Symposium on Sanctuary Cities (Albany Times Union | Nov. 10, 2017)
"[The specific legalities of sanctuary cities is] an issue that one needs to be a lawyer to fully understand," Albany Law School director and professor Andrew Ayers said, "and I doubt very much if there's any lawyer in the world who would claim to understand it because of how complicated everything gets when you start talking about how immigration law overlaps with other kinds of law."
Sanctuary Cities Forum Tonight at Albany Law (WAMC | Nov. 9, 2017)
Albany Law Professor Andy Ayers is moderating the talk [on sanctuary cities]. "I think a lot of people don't know what the term [sanctuary city] means because there really is no agreed on meaning for the term. It can mean detaining or not detaining non-citizens. It can mean cooperating with federal enforcement authorities. It can mean providing some sort of affirmative support to immigrants, like providing lawyers for people who are facing deportation, or sometimes it can just be a moral statement: you declare yourself a sanctuary jurisdiction because you want to send a message, so it can mean all of that and more."