DOJ Sues California Over Sanctuary City Policies

Finally, there are steps being taken to deal with states that want to harbor those who break the law, and it comes in the form of a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against California.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a filing of the lawsuit late Tuesday.

“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Sessions said.  “We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. And I believe that we are going to win.”

I think the unconstitutional policies are the real issue, not any of this other stuff.  If the states have agreed to comply with US immigration law, then they should be subject to correction when they thumb their nose at it.

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According to the lawsuit, it alleges that state laws AB 450, SB 54 and AB 103 were created to impede existing immigration laws.

  • AB 450 – forbids private employers from cooperating with immigration agents who conduct worksite enforcement operations. It also requires those employers to inform workers about such operations.
  • SB 54 – restricts law enforcement officials from notifying federal immigration agents of release dates for prisoners in their custody who have been convicted are facing deportation and prohibits local law enforcement from transferring them into federal custody.
  • AB 103 – requires the state to inspect detention facilities where federal authorities are holding immigrants who face deportation.
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The Wall Street Journal reports:

In the new suit, the Justice Department is seeking a temporary and then permanent injunction against the enforcement of three California statutes at issue.

The first requires California employers to obtain warrants or subpoenas from immigration agents before giving the agents access to private areas of a business or confidential employment records. Business owners found in violation can be fined up to $10,000.

The administration argues that the law wrongly hurts employers who are caught between efforts to perform what they see as a civic duty to cooperate with federal authorities, and the state, which penalizes such cooperation.

The second law limits when and how local jurisdictions may cooperate with immigration authorities. The Justice Department said it is challenging, in particular, a provision that restricts local officials from voluntarily providing information about when a suspected undocumented inmate will be released from custody, as well as a provision prohibiting the transfer of somebody to federal custody without a judicial warrant.

The third statute bars local jails from contracting with the federal government to provide bed space for immigrants being held on civil immigration violations, although the provision being challenged deals with rules governing the inspection of these facilities.

Democrat California Governor Jerry Brown called the lawsuit “sad.”

“California … is using every power it has—powers it doesn’t have—to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them,” he said. “We are going to fight these irrational, unfair, unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you.”

“California stands on firm legal footing when it takes action. We believe we are in full compliance with the federal Constitution and federal law,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The reason for the timing of the lawsuit is because the DOJ just finished California’s review process. It’s part of the warning that was provided to 23 sanctuary cities back in January.

Letters went out to each of the following at that time.

  • Chicago, Illinois;
  • Cook County, Illinois;
  • New York City, New York;
  • State of California;
  • Albany, New York;
  • Berkeley, California;
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico;
  • Burlington, Vermont;
  • City and County of Denver, Colorado;
  • Fremont, California;
  • Jackson, Mississippi;
  • King County, Washington;
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts;
  • City of Los Angeles, California;
  • Louisville Metro, Kentucky;
  • Monterey County, California;
  • Sacramento County, California;
  • City and County of San Francisco, California;
  • Sonoma County, California;
  • Watsonville, California;
  • West Palm Beach, Florida;
  • State of Illinois; and
  • State of Oregon.

Consider that this governor and this attorney general in the state of California are acting in violation of US immigration law. Furthermore, they can be held criminally responsible for each and every criminal act committed by illegal aliens in their state, according to US law.

It’s time justice was served.

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