US Justice Dept sues California over 'sanctuary' policies
US Justice Dept sues California over 'sanctuary' policies
Justice Department sues California over impeding immigration enforcement
07 March, 2018, 11:48
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg was quick to react to news Sessions would be in town, saying "If you are coming to intimidate immigrants and to intimidate people in our city, I suggest you cancel your flight".
Supporters of the laws argue they make communities safer by encouraging undocumented victims of crime to come forward without fear of being detained.
Later, a judge in Chicago similarly ruled that the attorney general had exceeded his authority in tying federal grant money to jurisdictions' cooperation with immigration officials, and a judge in Philadelphia ruled that the city was in compliance with immigration law and blocked the Justice Department from withholding money there. Except for those held for a narrow set of serious crimes, these law enforcement officers can not transfer detainees to federal custody voluntarily. To advance their cause, federal lawyers cite a 2012 Supreme Court dispute, in which the Obama administration sued Arizona over its punitive law meant to crack down on immigrants there.
The lawsuit named as defendants the state of California, Gov.
Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday night bashed the Trump administration's plans to sue his state over its immigration laws, calling it a "political stunt". "Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don't work here". However, the topic of sanctuary cities and California has been a hot and controversial topic. In addition to violating the Supremacy Clause, DOJ alleges that SB 54 violates a law enacted by Congress which promotes sharing information related to immigration enforcement.
The DOJ suit will also target a law called AB 450 that went into effect January 1 and restricts private employers' ability to cooperate with federal immigration officials, including by requiring a subpoena or warrant to enter workplaces and by notifying workers about reviews of employment documentation.
Administration officials say the three laws in question, all passed by the Legislature past year, blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution's supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state enactments.
The statement also reiterated some of Schaaf's criticism of the Trump administration.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal court in Sacramento, targets three California laws that protect undocumented immigrants from federal agencies. We're sick and exhausted of this federal government bullying California.
"The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you", he said in prepared remarks.
Numerous cities and counties had already declared themselves immigrant sanctuaries, meaning they would not cooperate with federal immigration agents seeking to round up illegal immigrants. The suit includes a declaration from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, who said that the inability of ICE officers to go to local lockups to pick up immigrants who have been detained by local police agencies forces them to hunt down suspects in more unsafe settings.
The Justice Department said it could ask for the return of 2016 funding if jurisdictions failed to give the requested information or if they were found to be violating the federal law.
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