Sessions slams sanctuary laws in speech to California police officers

Sessions slams sanctuary laws in speech to California police officers

The suit is specifically taking aim at California's SB54 law, a mandate that prohibits local police from reporting illegal immigrants to immigration officials for minor offenses, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, and a law regarding the inspection of immigrant detention centers.

"How dare you?" Sessions said of Schaaf at a California Peace Officers Association meeting in Sacramento.

The Trump administration escalated what had been a war of words over California's immigration agenda, filing a lawsuit late Tuesday that amounted to a pre-emptive strike against the liberal state's so-called sanctuary laws.

Sessions' appearance at California's capital comes less than two weeks after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents of an imminent raid by federal immigration agents, a move harshly criticized by ICE.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the belly of the beast on Wednesday to announce his department's legal action challenging California's increasingly strident "sanctuary state" opposition to federal immigration law enforcement. These actions are not taken to make America safer, they are being taken to divide Americans.

The Justice Department argues that the bills, which limit how state businesses and law enforcement officials work with immigration authorities, violate the Constitution's supremacy clause. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it will increase its presence in California, and Sessions wants to cut off funding to jurisdictions that won't cooperate.

Late Tuesday the Justice Department sued to overturn three California statutes that render it more hard for officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to obtain the cooperation of local officials and private employers to make arrests. The suit seeks to dissolve the state's structures and laws that enable it to ignore immigration orders to effectively show other cities and states resisting Trump's rules that they will eventually have to acquiesce.

Sessions attacked California lawmakers for what he viewed as obstruction against immigration agents doing their jobs. 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. "We're not in the business of deportations", Becerra said. Of those arrested, 180 were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the USA, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned, said the agency.

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"So here's my message to Mayor Schaaf", Sessions added.

"It's a bit like a child being sent off to school or into public and being told to behave one way by their mother and another way by their father", said former Sacramento Police officer John McGinness.

"There is no nullification; there is no secession", Sessions said. Jerry Brown (D), is in his final year in office. "In California, we don't confuse coercion with cooperation".

State Sen. Steve Glazer, a Democrat from the San Francisco Bay Area who voted for the three bills being challenged by Sessions, told Courthouse News the visit was a "poke in the eye" with all the makings of a political stunt.

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