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Trump Administration Sues Calif. Over 'Sanctuary' Laws

The Trump administration is suing to block California laws that extend protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally.Attorney General Jeff Sessions was expected to announce the lawsuit Wednesday at an annual gathering of law enforcement organizations in Sacramento. West Wing Turmoil With Staff Exits; No Chaos, Trump Says The U.S. Justice Department is challenging three California laws that, among other things, bar police from asking people about their citizenship status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities. The suit filed in federal court in Sacramento says the laws are unconstitutional and have kept federal agents from doing their jobs.”The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Sessions said in prepared remarks. “I believe that we are going to win.” West Virginia Teachers Return to Classroom After Strike The move is the latest volley in an escalating feud between the Trump administration and California. The state has defiantly refused to help federal agents detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Sessions says that makes cities more dangerous.California Gov. Jerry Brown responded to the lawsuit on Twitter in a parody of President Donald Trump’s own Twitter style: Nunberg Gathering Documents and Emails as Requested “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 don’t work here. SAD!!!”Brown is named in the lawsuit along with Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who said the state is on firm legal footing.”Our track record so far when it comes to any dispute with the federal government has been pretty good,” Becerra said.Sessions’ announcement will be made at a California Peace Officers’ Association event on the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day, according to his office. The event will start at 8:05 a.m. at Kimpton Sawyer Hotel.Dozens of undocumented immigrants have been arrested across Northern California last month, according to federal officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations.The arrests have sparked fear in immigrant neighborhoods and kept people at home for fear of being arrested, according to local business leaders. ICE arrests come amid a nationwide debate over whether local jurisdictions that call themselves “sanctuary cities” must cooperate with federal immigration authorities.About half of the individuals arrested have criminal convictions in addition to immigration violations, including convictions for assault/battery, crimes against children, weapons charges and DUI, he added.“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan. “Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public.”Honan also criticized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s decision to alert the public about ICE operations, saying it “further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold.”Both Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell responded to the news of Sessions’s scheduled appearance in Sacramento.“This is not the first time that the federal administration has rattled its saber. We have seen repeated attacks on our city and its values – from insulting tweets to hateful policy decisions – but San Francisco will not be intimidated,” Farrell said. “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents and no attack will undermine the values of our City. San Francisco is and will remain a home for hardworking immigrants and I am committed to defending and supporting our longstanding sanctuary policies.”Schaaf called Oakland a “city of immigrants.””We will continue to exercise our legal right to exist as a sanctuary city,” Schaaf said. “We will continue to inform all residents about their constitutional rights, and we will continue to support California’s sanctuary status.”“We will also distinguish between law abiding residents who work hard and contribute to our community from dangerous criminals,” Schaaf added. “This administration has tried to portray all immigrants as villains. We know that is a racist lie, and we will shed light on that myth every day.”Mayor Sam Liccardo also chimed in:“As a former federal prosecutor, I know how to follow the law,” he said. “I also know that this Administration’s radical shift toward indiscriminate enforcement of immigration law is making urban communities less safe. Police chiefs of major cities throughout the nation agree that we critically need to ensure that every resident – regardless of status – will not hesitate to call 911 in an emergency, to report a crime or share information with the police.”Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Source: NBC San Diego

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