Trump admin to file suit against California over sanctuary laws
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the lawsuit at the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day in Sacramento on Wednesday.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning to say at the event, according to The New York Times. “I believe that we are going to win.”
The suit aims to block three so-called sanctuary laws California’s legislature passed last year in response to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement measures.
The Trump administration has been highly critical of California’s sanctuary cities and administration officials have said they will crack down on policies that limit local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal authorities.
The Justice Department will argue that one of the state’s laws — which in certain circumstances prevents local officials from giving information to immigration agents or from handing over detained immigrants to federal custody — is unconstitutional and violates a federal statute on information sharing.
The lawsuit is modeled after a suit the Obama administration filed in 2010 against an Arizona state law that targeted certain immigrants, according to Politico.
That Obama-era lawsuit made its way up to the Supreme Court, which ruled that parts of the Arizona law were unconstitutional because they went against Congress’ right to set federal immigration policy.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it will increase its presence in the state and Sessions has said he would like to cut funding for cities with sanctuary policies.
Federal courts have, however, blocked the Trump administration from cutting funds from localities that don’t cooperate with ICE.
The Justice Department has also had difficulties getting federal courts to pressure localities to change their sanctuary policies.
The lawsuit comes after more than a year of criticism and threats from the Trump administration. However, Justice Department officials would not say whether they had discussed the suit in advance with the White House, Politico reported.
Last week, the mayor of Oakland announced that ICE was going to be conducting raids before they were carried out.
ICE said the mayor’s warning kept them from effectively doing their job, although they arrested more than 200 people during their four-day raid.
Updated: 10 p.m.