First Lawsuit for California Sanctuary Law Violation Filed


June 2, 2020

Media Contact:
Sabrina Chin


First Lawsuit for California Sanctuary Law Violation Filed 
Against Daly City on Behalf of Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez 


DALY CITY, CA (March 18, 2020) — Asian Law Caucus and Latham & Watkins LLP filed the first  lawsuit against the City of Daly City for multiple violations of California’s Sanctuary law (California Values Act or SB 54), among other claims. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, challenges Daly City Police Department’s policies and practices that continue to allow community members to be funneled into immigration detention and deportation.

“Local law enforcement should not be entangled with immigration enforcement. These harmful practices separate families, violate due process rights, and subject our immigrant community members to cruel and inhumane detention conditions,” says Angela Chan, Policy Director and Senior Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus.

On May 11, 2019, the Daly City Police Department (DCPD) stopped Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez (Armando), his partner Krisia, and Krisia’s younger brother on their way home. Without providing a reason for the stop or issuing a traffic citation, DCPD officers proceeded to ask about Armando’s immigration status. After unlawfully prolonging the stop to conduct an immigration investigation, DCPD officers notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and took Armando to the Daly City Police Station, where they facilitated his transfer to ICE in clear violation of the California Values Act.

“The California Values Act is a critical immigrant rights and public safety law designed to protect our state’s most vulnerable,” stated Belinda Lee, partner with Latham & Watkins LLP. “This lawsuit aims to hold law enforcement accountable for violations of this Act and restore the constitutionally protected rights of California’s immigrant population.”

Background on the California Values Act
The California Values Act, which went into effect in January 2018, sets a minimum standard across the state to limit law enforcement from acting as deportation agents. This landmark law, along with local sanctuary policies, enacted across the state have significantly reduced deportations. Community groups are organizing statewide to ensure full implementation of the law and to pass strong local policies that protect due process for everyone, including immigrants. See the California Values Act implementation report here.

The Asian Law Caucus, along with over twenty-five other criminal justice reform and immigrant rights organizations, are also moving a new bill, the VISION Act (AB 2596-Bonta) to strengthen the California Values Act and expand protections to individuals who are incarcerated in the state prison for offenses committed as youth.

About Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC)
ALC was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

About Latham & Watkins LLP
Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.


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