Trump Administration Files Lawsuit Against California Over 'Sanctuary State' Laws

Beth Baumann
Posted: Mar 07, 2018 7:00 AM
Trump Administration Files Lawsuit Against California Over 'Sanctuary State' Laws

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear in California on Wednesday, at which time he will make an announcement about California's sanctuary state's status and the lawsuit the Trump Administration filed on Tuesday night. Sessions will make his announcement at the California Peace Officers Association's Law Enforcement Legislative Day.

The Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against the State of California, Gov. Jerry Brown, and the state's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra. 

“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to say according to prepared remarks, the New York Times reported. “I believe that we are going to win.”

According to the lawsuit, the state's statutes "reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law.”

Justice Department lawyers argue in the suit that the state is making it more difficult for federal agents to do their job in California.

"The provisions of state law at issue have the purpose and effect of making it more difficult for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California," the lawsuit says, CNN reported.

The lawsuit also claims the state regulates private entities, including those who want to work with Immigration and Custome Enforcement (ICE) which would “impede consultation and communication between federal and state law enforcement officials.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in a Federal District Court in Sacramento on Tuesday night, is the first immigration-related case filed under Attorney General Jeff Sessions against a state or local government. 

“We’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” ICE's acting director Thomas D. Homan told the New York Times. “These politicians can’t make these decisions and be held unaccountable for people dying. I mean, we need to hold these politicians accountable for their actions.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen applauded Sessions' efforts.

“California has chosen to purposefully contradict the will and the responsibility of the Congress to protect our homeland,” Nielsen said in a statement, POLITICO reported. “I appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law and protect American communities.”

According to California Senate Leader Kevin de León, the Trump administration is upset about how the Golden State challenged the federal government's authority: “The administration is just angry that a state has stood up to them — one that embraces diversity and inclusivity and is the sixth-largest economy in the world thanks to the hard-working immigrants who want to become American citizens."

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a press conference with reporters to discuss the lawsuit, at which time he deterred the idea that the state is undermining the feds' attempts at enforcing federal immigration laws.

"We’re following the Constitution and federal law," Becerra said, POLITICO reported. "We’re doing nothing to intrude in the work of the federal government to do immigration enforcement. We recognize and respect that the federal government has authority over immigration enforcement."

What California Officials Are Saying

California Gov. Jerry Brown took to Twitter to shame Sessions for his move.

According to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California isn't backing down to the feds.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he plans to upload the law, even if Jeff Sessions doesn't plan to do so himself.

Sen. Kamala Harris posted several tweets about the immigration problem she feels needs to be addressed.