(National Sentinel) Legal Jeopardy: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is traveling to California on Wednesday and is expected to announce a major legal effort aimed at cracking down on the state over its “sanctuary state” law that protects people in the country illegally from federal immigration enforcement efforts.
As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Sessions is expected to announce a major U.S. lawsuit against the Golden State to block three laws — including its so-called “sanctuary state” policy relating to local law enforcement — that, the lawsuit says, “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law.”
After news of the lawsuit first broke late Tuesday, the paper said, Gov. Jerry Brown (D), issued a quick statement criticizing the move as well as the AG’s trip to California.
“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America,” Brown wrote. “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”
Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Sessions would speak about “sanctuary” jurisdictions at an annual conference organized by California Peace Officers’ Association.
The paper noted further:
The event is an opportunity for law enforcement to learn about new laws — including the three the United States is trying to block:
- Senate Bill 54, which sets limits on cooperation between California police and federal immigration agents in immigration enforcement;
- Assembly Bill 450, carried in anticipation of workplace raids, which requires employers to ask for proper court documents before allowing immigration agents access to the workplace or to employee information;
- Provisions in Assembly Bill 103, a budget trailer bill, that require the California Attorney General to conduct reviews of public and privately run immigration detention centers that contract with ICE.
California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra said his office expected legal action from the federal government. He also claimed that California has a right under the U.S. Constitution to pass such laws, even if they conflict with federal statutes.
“We’re doing nothing to intrude in the work of the federal government to do immigration enforcement,” he said. “We recognize and respect that it’s the federal government that has jurisdiction over immigration enforcement, and we hope that federal government would recognize that under the constitution and the 10th Amendment that the state of California and the 50 states have the power to decide how to do public safety.”
But critics say California lawmakers and the Brown administration have gone much further — actively working to thwart federal immigration officials.
One example they point to is the recent decision by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to publicly alert illegal aliens in her city to a pending action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The Justice Department is currently reviewing whether there is any legal action the government can take against her.
In January, the Justice Department sent letters warning 23 so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions they will face legal action in federal court unless they reverse policies that shield illegal immigrants from deportation.
The affected jurisdictions including the entire state of California and several individual California cities.
I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,” Sessions said in a statement. “Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law.”
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