The Justice Department is suing the state of California over three sanctuary polices that prevent federal authorities from doing their job, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.
The announcement follows a series of raids on the state in which ICE agents have arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants with criminal records. One of those raids was derailed when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents ICE was coming.
As ICE Director Thomas Homan points out, “Being a law enforcement officer is already dangerous enough, but to give the criminals a heads up that we’re coming in the next 24 hours increases that risk.” According to Homan, at least 800 illegals with criminal records are still at large in the area.
The DOJ’s lawsuit aims to freeze three particular policies that contradict federal immigration law. Sessions announced the lawsuit Wednesday during a speech to the California Peace Officers’ Association.
“Contrary to what you might hear from the lawless open borders radicals, we are not asking California, Oakland, or anyone else to enforce immigration laws…We are simply asking California and other sanctuary jurisdictions to stop actively obstructing federal law enforcement,” said Sessions. “Stop protecting lawbreakers and giving all officers more dangerous work to do so that a few politicians can score political points on the backs of officer safety.”
Sessions during his speech blasted Mayor Schaaf and those who supported her, accusing the mayor of supporting “those who flout our laws and boldly validate the illegality.”
“How dare you…needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda,” said Sessions.
During his speech, Sessions referenced his three main duties as Attorney General:
- To support the military
- To reduce crime rates
- To dismantle transnational criminal gangs
“A lawful immigration system that serves the national interest” will help us achieve these goals, he said. “California is using every power it has – and some it doesn’t – to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.”
His speech ended with a standing ovation.
Democrats’ response to the speech was every bit as harsh as the speech itself.
California Governor Jerry Brown called Sessions a “liar” and accused him of “acting more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer.”
California lawmaker Nancy Pelosi called the lawsuit a “sham” and said the “people of California will not be bowed by the Trump administration’s brazen aggression and intimidation tactics.”
Mayor Schaaf accused Sessions of “vilifying members of our community by trying to frighten the American public into believing that all undocumented residents are dangerous criminals.”