US DOJ Takes Aim at California Lawlessness
Late Tuesday, the US Justice Department (DOJ) sued California, upping the battle between The Trump Administration and state/local governments over the issue of providing sanctuaries from a crackdown on immigration enforcement.
The lawsuit names Gov. Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, challenges 3 recently passed state laws that The Trump Administration sees as hindering enforcement of federal immigration law and endanger federal agents.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in remarks prepared for delivery to a law enforcement convention Wednesday.
The laws provide some of the most generous protections in the nation for immigrants facing deportation, but the Justice Department argues that they improperly venture into the enforcement of US immigration law that is strictly a matter for the federal authorities.
DOJ lawyers consider the laws to be an attempt to regulate federal immigration.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the state capital of Sacramento, challenges 3 specific laws.
- SB 54, which restricts law enforcement officials from notifying federal immigration agents about the release dates for prisoners in their custody who have been convicted and therefore face deportation. It also prohibits local officials from transferring those prisoners to federal custody. Note: As a result, the Justice Department says, immigration agents face greater danger in re-arresting the former prisoners once they’re back on the streets.
- 2. AB 450, which forbids private employers from cooperating with immigration agents who conduct worksite enforcement operations. The law also requires employers to tell their workers when federal agents are coming to conduct inspections. Note: The DOJ said a committee of the state legislature described the law as an effort to frustrate “an expected increase in federal immigration enforcement actions.”And
- AB 103, which requires the state to inspect detention facilities where federal authorities are holding immigrants who face deportation.
Immigrants who commit crimes are a priority for deportation.
The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare the state laws invalid and block their enforcement. It is separate from other cases, now working their way through the courts, that are challenging the Justice Department’s efforts to withhold federal crime-fighting funds from sanctuary communities.