Justice Department officials said Tuesday that three state laws, which in part bar police from asking people about their citizenship status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities, are unconstitutional.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is traveling to California to make a major announcement about sanctuary policies that limit local and state cooperation with federal immigration authorities. "We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America". "I believe that we are going to win".
The DOJ suit will also target a law called AB 450 that went into effect January 1 and restricts private employers' ability to cooperate with federal immigration officials, including by requiring a subpoena or warrant to enter workplaces and by notifying workers about reviews of employment documentation.
Trump issued the threat during a meeting with state and local officials on school safety and gun violence. Sessions says that makes cities more unsafe. "This administration also wants residents to cower and stay silent". She did not know any specifics of what the announcement may entail, but Sessions accepted the invitation to speak at the annual event.
"So far the administration's record there is not stellar", he said, referring to the administration's repeated losses in court.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal court in Sacramento, targets three California laws that protect undocumented immigrants from federal agencies. "We are protecting our communities from immigration agents intimidating people and overreaching in very serious ways". It sets up a clash not just on what is the best immigration policy to promote public safety, but also on what power the federal government should exert over the states.
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California Gov. Jerry Brown slammed the Trump administration and called Sessions' legal maneuvering a political stunt. In this case, it is California that is arguably in uncharted legal territory, imposing barriers aimed at undermining federal law enforcement efforts.
ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan said that hundreds were able to dodge the operation "thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision". Gen. Jeff Sessions is suing CA because we refuse to help the Trump administration tear apart honest, hardworking immigrant families.
The Trump administration and the Justice Department have been waging an increasingly acrimonious battle with sanctuary jurisdictions, although the lawsuit is perhaps the most consequential step yet. The Justice Department lawsuit cites a provision of the U.S. Constitution known as the "Supremacy Clause", under which federal laws trump state laws. The third law under federal challenge covers state inspections of detention facilities that hold noncitizens in federal custody. Officials in Ventura County, for example, refused to turn over a suspect arrested for sexual abuse of a minor, they said.
State officials say those suspects are the exception and do not reflect those the law is created to protect, who are primarily people jailed for low-level offenses.
The Trump administration plans to argue that California is similarly overstepping its authority, senior DOJ officials said Tuesday.
A representative for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, D, could not immediately be reached for comment.