Jeff Sessions Announces Lawsuit Against California Over Immigration Sanctuary Status

Hannah Rogers
March 8, 2018

The lawsuit also spells out in the clearest detail yet how California's much-vaunted resistance has thrown a wrench in the wheels of the administration's deportation plans.

A line of police and private security guards blocked access to the hotel.

"At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America", Brown said on Twitter. "They will not shake our beliefs", Farrell said in a statement directed toward Sessions.

In the time since Donald Trump won the presidential election, there has been an increasing amount of tension between lawmakers in Washington DC and lawmakers in California. "It's not wise, it's not right and it will not stand".

Sessions was defiant as he spoke to local law enforcement officials about the lawsuit, citing a series of California laws that he says are unconstitutional and violate common sense.

"Here's my message to Mayor Schaaf: 'How dare you!'" the attorney general said. Brown wouldn't comment on that.

The two top officials and the state of California are named as defendants in the lawsuit filed by Justice Department lawyers on behalf of the United States.

Blasting the evils of sanctuary cities has always been a reliable crowd-pleaser at Donald Trump rallies, but it is a trio of state laws at issue in this lawsuit: one that prohibits employers from cooperating with an ICE raid unless ICE first obtains a warrant or subpoena; one that bars state law enforcement officials from sharing with their federal counterparts information about certain detainees' immigration status; and one that allows the state to inspect privately-run federal immigration detention facilities within its borders to determine, among other things, whether detainees have been afforded due process.

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U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who represents the "sanctuary city" of San Francisco, chimed in as well, accusing the Trump administration of "brazen aggression and intimidation tactics".

Brown's signature means that police will be barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement activities starting January 1.

"Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community - 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue by other means, with more difficulty in risky situations - all because of one irresponsible action", Sessions said.

The California laws were passed in response to Trump's promises to sharply ramp up the deportation of people living in the US illegally.

Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are directly named in the suit - and are ready for the fight.

Sessions ripped into recently passed state laws limiting state and local law enforcement officers' cooperation with ICE agents and requiring state inspections of federally operated detention centers in California. There was a heavy police presence but no arrests.

Magnifying the feud between California and the Trump administration, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions backed up a lawsuit filed Tuesday over California's sanctuary state laws with a warning on Wednesday: federal agents will continue deporting undocumented Californians.

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