ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA VOTES TO JOIN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION LAWSUIT AGAINST
CALIFORNIA STATE. ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT WILL PUBLISH A “WHO’S IN JAIL”
DATABASE TO HELP COOPERATION WITH ICE.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is visiting California to sue it.
The Department of Justice has just filed a lawsuit against the state over three laws it passed in 2017 that limit government officials’ and employers’ ability to help federal immigration agents, and that give California the power to review conditions in facilities where immigrants are being detained by the feds. Sessions, in a Wednesday speech to the California Peace Officers’ Association, a law enforcement union, is giving the message in person.
It’s a huge escalation of the Trump administration’s fight against “sanctuary cities” that limit local-federal cooperation on immigration enforcement. After a year of slow-moving or unsuccessful attempts to block “sanctuary” jurisdictions from getting federal grants, Sessions is moving to stop them from passing laws that limit cooperation to begin with. And he’s starting with a shot across the bow: targeting the bluest state in the union, whose 2017 bills represented a model for progressives to use federalism against the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.
California, like any other “sanctuary” jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.
Sessions’s lawsuit, legally speaking, is about ensuring that the feds can use any tool in the toolbox of federal immigration enforcement policy, without any restrictions from progressive cities and states. Politically speaking, it’s the next phase in a battle the Trump administration and California are equally enthusiastic about having: an ongoing culture war between progressive politicians who feel a duty to make their immigrant residents feel as safe as possible, and an administration (and its backers) whose stated policy is that no unauthorized immigrant should feel safe.
The lawsuit is mostly a fight to let government employees and business owners cooperate with ICE if they want
The administration’s new lawsuit doesn’t address all of California’s restrictions on cooperation — including some of the “sanctuary” policies that Sessions and other Trump administration officials have complained the most about (like limits on when local jail officials can agree to hold unauthorized immigrants for 48 hours after they’d otherwise be released so federal agents can pick them up).
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