California Governor, Attorney General Blast Fed Lawsuit Over Sanctuary Policies

California Governor, Attorney General Blast Fed Lawsuit Over Sanctuary Policies

The suit is specifically taking aim at California's SB54 law, a mandate that prohibits local police from reporting illegal immigrants to immigration officials for minor offenses, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, and a law regarding the inspection of immigrant detention centers.

"How dare you", Sessions said in a direct message to Mayor Libby Schaaf during his speech at the California Peace Officers Association conference in Sacramento.

Becerra, who is up for election in November, said sanctuary policies increase public safety by promoting trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement, while allowing police resources to be used to fight other crimes.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressing a meeting of the Alliance of California Law Enforcement, flanked by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott (left) and former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinnis.

The suit heightens tensions between California and the Trump administration, and sets up a judicial showdown over the scope and degree of state cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

California Gov. Jerry Brown also blasted Mr. Trump and Sessions, saying he thinks Sessions is just trying to please his boss.

Sessions says California's laws are unconstitutional and a "plain violation of common sense". Rather than effectively force millions of hardworking immigrant families to go underground, the state imposes some very basic and modest limitations on the circumstances in which it gives ICE the run of the place.

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"Our track record so far when it comes to any dispute with the federal government has been pretty good on this count", Becerra said Tuesday night.

California, one of the country's largest, wealthiest and most progressive states, has battled with the administration since Trump took office in January 2017 over his immigration crackdown. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the USA after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country, said the agency in a press statement, adding that the remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future. "The State of California" is a marked escalation.

Brown said he is still willing to cooperate with Sessions on immigration enforcement targeted at criminals, which he said is possible because of limitations he demanded in SB 54.

In his speech, Session said he does not "want to be in this position of having to challenge these [California] laws" but that he can't sit by while the federal government is flouted. Brown said he hoped to have a "rational discussion" with U.S. Department of Justice officials once Sessions' "circus" left Sacramento. Brown declared the lawsuit "SAD!" in a Trump-like statement, while the Democrats running to replace him decried Sessions' move.

"Here in California, we respect the law and the Constitution".

Dozens of demonstrators have gathered in Sacramento, California, to protest an appearance by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The attorney general cited acting ICE chief Thomas Homan, who indicated his agency failed to arrest 800 criminal illegal immigrants because of Schaaf's intervention.

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