U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions brought the Trump administration's feud with California to the doorstep of the state Capitol on Wednesday, suing over its so-called sanctuary state law and dramatically escalating a war with the liberal powerhouse in a sharp exchange of words with Democratic Gov.
Senate Bill 54, Assembly Bill 103 and Assembly Bill 450 - the three laws that Sessions sued over - restrict California law enforcement officials from cooperating on federal immigration actions, limit the ability of local jails to contract with the federal government to house immigrant detainees, and require employers to ask for a warrant before allowing immigration authorities to conduct a workplace raid.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who plans to speak today at a Law Enforcement Legislative Day event in Sacramento, believes the California laws in question are "unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional", according to prepared remarks reported by the California Sun.
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Carol Leveroni, CPOA executive director, said through various law enforcement liaisons her organization learned last week that Sessions planned to come to California to make a Sanctuary jurisdiction speech. Jerry Brown late Tuesday for enacting sanctuary laws that "obstruct" and "impede" federal immigration agents. "I'm going to use every power I have to fight that". But he told the California police officials at the conference that he and the Trump administration "have got your back". He had particularly strong words for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who issued an unusual public warning last month about an immigration operation.
Afterward, she said of Sessions: "How dare you" vilify members of the community, distract people from a broken immigration system that breaks up families and distort the reality of declining violent crime in a "sanctuary city" like Oakland.More news: Broadway stars express outpouring of support for Ruthie Ann Miles
Brown responded in a statement by calling the lawsuit a "political stunt". Schaaf defended her decision even after ICE said it was unable to locate more than 800 people as part of its sweep of the city.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down three portions of the Arizona law in 2012, including provisions that made it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry federal registration documents and to work or apply for work when in the country illegally.
"Here's my message to Mayor Schaaf-how dare you". But it looks like he's directly taking on his new nemesis: the state of California.
The Justice Department is still reviewing other states for possible legal action.
John Cox, a Republican candidate for the state's governor, expressed support for Sessions' trip to California and the immigration policies he's pushing forward.
California sheriffs have called on the GOP-controlled Congress to intervene and pass federal law to change the state's sanctuary status, arguing that the law ties their hands too tightly and will only increase the chances of another high-profile tragedy.