Immigration Showdown: Feds Are Suing California

Justice Department thinks state 'sanctuary' laws too lenient toward undocumented immigrants
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2018 12:01 AM CST
Immigration Showdown: Feds Are Suing California
California Gov. Jerry Brown talks to reporters after delivering his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The nation's debate on sanctuary cities and states is about to play out front and center in a federal courtroom. The Justice Department is suing the state of California over three new laws that provide protection to undocumented immigrants, reports NPR. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in the state Wednesday to lay out his case that California is hindering the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws, reports the Los Angeles Times. The laws, all passed last year, deal with how businesses and law enforcement agencies in the state cooperate with federal immigration officials. For example, one makes it illegal for private employers to help agents track down undocumented workers unless they're bound to do so by a court order.

"The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that are imposed on you," Sessions will say in a speech to the California Peace Officers Association. California Gov. Jerry Brown was already tweeting in response, with a not-so-subtle dig at President Trump's tweeting style. “At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America," he wrote. "Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!” The case is not only a big escalation of the fight between the feds and California, it could have big consequences across the country in other states and cities with similar laws, notes the Washington Post. (More Justice Department stories.)

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