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USA sues California over pro-immigrant laws
07 March 2018, 11:49 | Kara Nash
Trump administration suing to block California laws protecting immigrants living illegally in the US
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime proponent of immigration restrictions, will speak Wednesday at an annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day hosted by the California Peace Officers' Association in Sacramento.
No further details were provided. "We don't get in the way of the federal government in doing immigration enforcement, unless of course they do so in an unconstitutional manner".
He says recent laws enacted by the state prevent federal agencies from following through on the Trump administration's immigration policies.
Sessions is expected to formally announce the lawsuit, which will name as defendants the state ofCalifornia, Governor Jerry Brown and the state's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, during a speech on Wednesday morning in Sacramento. The high court found several key provisions undermined federal immigration law, though it upheld a provision requiring officers, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally.
The Justice Department's suing states over their laws is uncommon but not unheard of. Toward the end of President Barack Obama's tenure, his administration sued North Carolina over what came to be known as the "bathroom bill", which barred transgender people from using restrooms that did not correspond with the sex on their birth certificates. The state has defiantly refused to help federal agents detain and deport undocumented immigrants. The state ultimately repealed and replaced the measure, and the Trump Justice Department said that meant the case should be dropped. None of the groups favored the state law restricting cooperation with immigration officials, but only the California State Sheriffs' Association was actively opposed and some individual officials voiced support.
President Donald Trump has also been a harsh critic of the state's sanctuary policies, threatening to pull ICE agents from the state, warning that the nation's most populous state would turn into a "crime nest" without the federal agents.
However, the Justice Department's attempts to implement the order to date have been stymied by lawsuits in the federal courts in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
"Law enforcement has never been in the immigration business, that's not what they do, but there are times that they work with federal officials to make their communities safe", Leveroni said. "It's a punch back to the lawlessness that's rampant in the state of California". Brown ultimately signed it.
Brown issued a statement Tuesday night that called the federal lawsuit "SAD!" and a political stunt.
Last week, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned the public about a pending ICE operation, telling immigrants that they don't have to open their doors for federal immigration agents if they don't have a warrant. "We didn't pass these laws to protect people with serious criminal backgrounds".
In D.C., senior Justice Department officials said California had acted in "quite obviously novel ways" and that the state laws there were "glaring and in some respects go beyond what we've seen" elsewhere.
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Character actor David Ogden Steirs has died
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