BREAKING: Justice Dept Suing California Over Sanctuary Laws

California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, answers a reporter's question during a news conference with Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Brown nominated Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as attorney general. Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in November. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Ahead of a Wednesday morning speech in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly make a “major announcement” about sanctuary jurisdictions, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit late Tuesday against the State of California and two of its elected officials, Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra.


The New York Times reports:

“The Justice Department sued…over three state laws passed in recent months, saying they make it impossible for federal immigration officials to do their jobs and deport criminals who were born outside of the United States. The Justice Department called the laws unconstitutional and asked a judge to block them.”

The Times states that the suit was to be filed in the United States Federal District Court in Sacramento, where Sessions is scheduled to speak at the California Peace Officers Association annual meeting early 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 planned to say on Wednesday at a law enforcement event in Sacramento, according to prepared remarks. “I believe that we are going to win.”

In a separate lawsuit, a federal judge ruled against Becerra and the state Monday, denying a Motion for Preliminary Injunction regarding the withholding of federal law enforcement grant funds.


The three laws the state is being sued over are SB 54, the “California Values Act” (better known as the sanctuary state law), AB 450, the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” (forbids businesses from voluntarily granting access to employee records to federal immigration officers), and the state budget, which “prohibited new contracts for immigration detention in the state and gave the state attorney general the power to monitor all state immigration detention centers.”


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