The Trump administration sued the state of California, along with its governor and state’s attorney general, on Tuesday evening in an effort to block three state laws that aim to protect undocumented immigrants from federal authorities.
In response to President Trump’s hawkish immigration policies, California recently passed a number of “sanctuary state” bills that, among other things, prohibit police from asking individuals about their immigration statuses during routine checks; ban employers from letting ICE agents enter worksites or look at employee files without a warrant; and limit how local law enforcement can interact with federal officials. The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department, helmed by Jeff Sessions has named Governor Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a suit asking a judge to block the bills, arguing that they are unconstitutional and hamper federal immigration officers’ abilities to locate and deport immigrants.
The suit is the most aggressive step the Trump administration has taken against so-called “sanctuary states,” which thus far include Oregon, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and California, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Sessions will officially address the lawsuit at a law enforcement gathering in Sacramento tomorrow, per the New York Times. “The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” his prepared marks read. “I believe that we are going to win.”
Brown seems unperturbed:
California is home to an estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.