Monday, 24 September, 2018

Sanctuary cities lawsuit: Jeff Sessions, federal government abuse their power

Mandel Ngan  AFP  Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has railed against Mandel Ngan AFP Getty Images Attorney General Jeff Sessions has railed against"sanctuary policies for years
| 08 March, 2018, 02:15

Federal officials have accused California of standing in the way of its plan to step up enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Sessions has prioritized cracking down on cities that fail to comply with federal immigration authorities - called "sanctuary cities" - in his time as attorney general, following through on campaign promises and platforms President Trump made, as CBS News' Paula Reid has reported.

On February 24 Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, California issued an open warning to cities in the San Francisco Bay area that ICE was preparing a soon to be launched operation to round up vulnerable immigrants.

The lawsuit that the Department of Justice filed against California Tuesday over state laws protecting immigrants represents Trump's strongest counterpunch so far to the Golden State's resistance against his policies.

"It's about dividing America", Brown said, adding that Sessions was acting more like Fox News than the country's top law enforcement official.

Becerra defended the law under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which he said gives California the right to decline to participate in civil immigration enforcement. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it will increase its presence in California, and Sessions wants to cut off funding to jurisdictions that won't cooperate. Justice Department officials said that violates the Constitution's supremacy clause, which renders invalid state laws that conflict with federal ones.

Republican Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen rejoiced over Sessions' lawsuit and subsequent California visit.


The fate of immigration policy in California is increasingly in the hands of federal judges.

"This is basically going to war against the state of California", Gov. He appeared unconcerned with the pending legal battle, citing instead the state's record of success against the Trump administration.

"For undocumented families who already live in fear of being separated from their families, we know U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement brings heightened anxiety", he said in a statement. "How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda?" Jerry Brown told reporters Wednesday. "Her actions support those who flout our laws and boldly validate the illegality", he said.

"I do think this is pure red meat for the base and I would assume, but this is pure speculation, that Jeff thinks Donald will be happier with him", Brown said in a press conference.

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

In a statement past year the association's president, Gardena Police Chief Ed Madrano, said the compromise "addresses the significant public safety concerns we raised during this debate, and it reaffirms what we have held since the beginning, which is that California law enforcement should not be used to assist in mass deportations". Sessions was hopping mad while echoing ICE Director Thomas Homan's previous accusations that Schaaf had given the heads up to 800 criminals who managed to avoid arrest.

Outside, dozens of demonstrators chanted "stand up, fight back" and "no justice, no peace" and some blocked traffic on a major thoroughfare.

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