Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Trump administration escalates California immigration feud

Harsh words and a lawsuit Trump and California at war Firefighters watch the wildfire in Montecito California
Glenn Montgomery | 08 March, 2018, 02:14

The right-wing outrage over "sanctuary" laws has always been a shameless dog whistle meant to demonize brown people and shift the public's attention from the implications of Congress' failures to enact sensible immigration reform.

The Washington Post reported that in its complaint, the Justice Department alleged three new California laws, Assembly bills 450 and 130, and Senate Bill 54, "obstruct enforcement of federal immigration law and harm public safety".

Sessions' appearance at California's capital comes less than two weeks after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents of an imminent raid by federal immigration agents, a move harshly criticized by ICE.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions brought the Trump administration's feud with California to the doorstep of the state Capitol on Wednesday, suing over its so-called sanctuary state law and dramatically escalating a war with the liberal powerhouse in a sharp exchange of words with Democratic Gov.

Sessions criticized Mayor Libby Schaaf in a speech Wednesday to law enforcement officials after he sued California over laws that restrict cooperation with USA immigration authorities. "Brown also talked about the contributions undocumented immigrants have made to his state, saying millions have lived and worked here for many years and are a big part of California's economy, which the governor called the "engine" of America's economy". The Department of Justice declined to comment when asked this week about whether a probe was underway.

Republican Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen rejoiced over Sessions' lawsuit and subsequent California visit. "This is a portrait of dragnet-style immigration enforcement, which studies have shown time and time again makes communities less safe, not more". But the West Coast state has quickly developed a knack for resisting, mobilizing to fight against multiple Trump White House decisions including climate change denial, attempts to end legal marijuana, and various measures to deport immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it will increase its presence in California, and Sessions wants to cut off funding to jurisdictions that won't cooperate.

"Here's my message to Mayor Schaaf: 'How dare you!'" the attorney general said. "We're not in the business of deportations".

Sessions cited acting ICE Director Homan, who last week said in a statement that 864 illegal immigrants remained at large in the community because of Schaaf's warning. "Her actions support those who flout the law and boldly validates illegality", the attorney general said. The Department of Justice is seeking a preliminary injunction to block California from enforcing those laws.

"Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community - 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue by other means, with more difficulty in unsafe situations - all because of one irresponsible action", Sessions said. On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared in Sacramento, where he announced the lawsuit while expressing outrage in what can only be characterized as a lecture.

"Here in California, we respect the law and the Constitution".

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