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Levin writes: "The US justice department is suing the state of California, alleging it is interfering with the enforcement of immigration laws, a week after the federal government escalated the feud by arresting more than 230 people in the state."

Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the suit against California, its governor and its attorney general on Wednesday. (photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the suit against California, its governor and its attorney general on Wednesday. (photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Justice Department Sues California Over Its 'Sanctuary' Immigration Laws

By Sam Levin, Guardian UK

07 March 18

Attorney general Jeff Sessions, who has prioritized stricter immigration enforcement, expected to announce suit in Sacramento

he US justice department is suing the state of California, alleging it is interfering with the enforcement of immigration laws, a week after the federal government escalated the feud by arresting more than 230 people in the state.

The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday in federal court, is taking aim at “sanctuary” policies in California that are meant to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. The fight between Donald Trump’s administration and California has been brewing since the president’s inauguration and intensified last month when the mayor of Oakland, a city with sanctuary policies, warned the public about forthcoming raids.

Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has made stricter immigration enforcement one of his top priorities since taking the helm of the justice department in February 2017. A key part of that effort involves a crackdown on primarily Democratic-led cities and states Sessions claims are “sanctuaries” shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Sessions is expected to formally announce the lawsuit – which names as defendants the state of California; the governor, Jerry Brown; and the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra – in a speech to law enforcement officers on Wednesday morning in Sacramento.

Over the past year, raids in sanctuary cities have torn apart immigrant communities and families, in some cases leading to lengthy detentions for populations not previously targeted for deportation. Activists said the recent enforcement in northern California, which led to 232 arrests, were particularly devastating and have instilled fear in undocumented people across the state.

More than half of the people arrested in the sweep did not have criminal convictions, according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (Ice). Immigrants’ rights lawyers have accused Ice of racial profiling with its “collateral arrests” that happen when agents are targeting specific individuals.

In October, Brown signed into law a bill that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers.

The DoJ lawsuit will cite a provision of the constitution known as the “supremacy clause”, under which federal laws trump state laws.

“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 will say, according to prepared remarks.

On Tuesday night, Brown said the state’s sanctuary policy did not prevent federal agencies from “doing their own work in any way”, adding: “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America.”

Early in his tenure, Trump signed an executive order that sought to block municipalities that failed to cooperate with US immigration authorities from receiving federal grant funding.

However, the justice department’s attempts to carry out the order to date have been stymied by lawsuits in the federal courts in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

At issue is whether sanctuary cities are violating a federal law that requires them to share information about people they arrest with Ice.

The justice department is already embroiled in several pending legal battles with the Trump administration related to sanctuary policies.

One case is now on appeal, after a federal judge in San Francisco blocked Trump’s executive order to bar funding to sanctuary cities.

Another case in San Francisco argues that the justice department’s efforts to cut off funding rests on a flawed interpretation of federal immigration law and tramples California’s right to enforce its own laws as it sees fit.

The justice department’s lawsuit will target three state laws, senior department officials said on Tuesday.

One law prohibits private employers in California from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration officials and imposes fines of up to $10,000 if a business owner fails to comply. A second lawprevents state and local law enforcement from giving federal immigration officials information about when they intend to release an undocumented immigrant from their custody.

The third law empowers the state to inspect federal immigration detention centers.

The justice department also plans to seek a court order from a judge to temporarily block the state from enforcing the laws. your social media marketing partner


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+4 # DongiC 2018-03-07 22:13
Looks like California and the federal governent are heading for civil conflict. Will other states, like NY and Oregon et al., join CA? Our biggest problem is not the Russians but DT and his red-necked deplorables.
-3 # Robbee 2018-03-08 08:19
*WARNING! this note, reminding us that the dem party stands with us against crap that putin, dickhead and repukes controlling congress do, OFFENDS b&b!
Quoting bread and butter 2018-03-02 08:52:
Robbee ... you don't deserve a response

now my post -
if there’s no difference between parties? how come dems never come up with crap like this? how come dems fight for chip, medicaid, medicare, social security, black lives, me too, equal pay, choice, immigrants, marijuana, lgbtq, free college, single payer, family leave, a living minimum wage, EPA. CDC, science, Puerto Rico, free press, free market, free speech, bank regs, clean air & water, no arctic drilling, hike taxes on the rich (3x under barak), justices on scotus who would reverse “citizens united” for bmillionaires, gun safety measures, a prez who is not a dickhead, renewable fuel, so forth?

or is that too much to ask here on rsn? whatsa matta? are differences over such matters too small to care?

- we had our last clear shot at escaping dickhead in nov. 2016 - AND WHIFFED!

“never hillary!” = “dickhead forever!”

don’t it always seem to go?
that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? - j. mitchell

“we have seen the enemy! and they are us! - pogo

"Next time, we must resolve to MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT!" - (caps in original) - bernie
+2 # Johnny 2018-03-08 11:03
232 arrests for suspicion of walking while Hispanic-lookin g? "Interference" hasn't been very effective.
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 12:17
Not only is the DoJ suing, Sessions went to Sacramento yesterday and gave a provocative speech -- and Gov. Used-to-be-a-Mo onbeam speechified him right back.

Go on, Sessions, get CA to secede. I know where I'll be moving! And as soon as I get there I'm fighting for single payer.
+1 # DongiC 2018-03-09 06:46
I'll be right behind you along with all my shamanic allies, power animals and the like. Expect the red states to have rotten weather!

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