Justice Department sues California over sanctuary laws
|| SF Chronicle
“After struggling in court for the last year to strip federal funds from California and sanctuary cities like San Francisco for refusing to aid federal immigration agents, the Trump administration filed suit Tuesday accusing the state of unconstitutionally interfering with immigration enforcement.
Three state laws enacted in 2017 “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration laws,” the Justice Department said in a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento. The suit seeks to overturn all three laws.
In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday to a law enforcement gathering in Sacramento, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration would “fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you.”
So far, though, his arguments have made little headway in federal court, where judges in San Francisco and elsewhere have rejected efforts to strip federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to comply with Justice Department edicts.
The suits by California, San Francisco and other sanctuary jurisdictions challenge conditions the department has sought to attach to federal funding, while the Justice Department’s suit directly challenges the California laws. But the central issue in all of them appears to be whether sanctuary laws are a proper exercise of state and local government’s authority over law enforcement or an unconstitutional intrusion by those governments into federal immigration law.
Sessions’ suit, though filed in a different court, could be consolidated with the California suit and transferred to San Francisco if the judge in that case decides the issues are the same.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a defendant in the new lawsuit, said in a statement, “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they won’t work here.”
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, also a defendant in the suit, responded with his own overture to law enforcement. “We’ll continue to stand up for our police and sheriffs whose funding has been threatened by the Trump administration” in the federal grants, he told reporters.
Besides targeting sanctuary laws, Sessions and others in the administration have denounced local officials like Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who publicly warned the immigrant community Feb. 24 of an impending Bay Area raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Acting ICE director Thomas Homan, who previously threatened pro-sanctuary politicians with criminal prosecution, compared Schaaf to “a gang lookout.” President Trump’s press secretary said the Justice Department was looking into Schaaf’s actions.”
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Sessions Punches Back: DOJ to Sue California to Strike Down ‘Sanctuary’ Laws as Unconstitutional
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions will speak Wednesday about his Department of Justice’s (DOJ) first-of-its-kind lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of three of California’s “sanctuary” laws, Breitbart News has learned.
Relying on both federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, DOJ will ask the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern California to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of these laws intended to protect illegal aliens by preventing cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. DOJ will also seek declaratory judgement that these laws are unconstitutional – “preempted” by federal immigration law – when it files late Tuesday night.
“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 Sessions is expected to tell a gathering of California police officers Wednesday in Sacramento. “We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. And I believe that we are going to win.”
…Continue reading more @ Breitbart