Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Sessions to make major announcement on sanctuaries

Sessions to make major announcement on sanctuaries

Sessions, who has blamed sanctuary city policies for crime and gang violence, is set to speak Wednesday to groups representing police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, narcotics investigators and the California Highway Patrol. The DOJ does not plan to argue that Section 1373 requires local law enforcement to hold people exclusively based on ICE requests ― known as "detainers" ― which many jurisdictions have rejected based on cost and constitutionality concerns.

"The provisions of state law at issue have the objective and effect of making it more hard for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California", Justice Department lawyers wrote.

California passed the laws previous year in what officials hailed as a rebuke of President Donald Trump's aggressive immigration enforcement agenda.

The federal lawsuit says three recently-passed immigration bills violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and jeopardize the safety of federal agents and California residents. The sheriff says there's conflict with state and federal law when it comes to immigration enforcement.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg made it clear where he stands, sending a message from Washington, Sessions via Twitter.

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In his decision, Judge William Orrick wrote that the case "may help define the contours of the state's broad constitutional police powers under the Tenth Amendment and the federal government's 'broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens'". "We are protecting our communities from immigration agents intimidating people and overreaching in very serious ways".

The state laws being challenged were a response to President Donald Trump's hawkish immigration policies and widespread fear in immigrant communities following a campaign in which he promised to sharply ramp up the deportation of people living in the US illegally. The Trump administration is seeking to block provisions of the law that stop local law enforcement from telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they will release certain individuals and from facilitating their transfer unless they've committed certain crimes. Brown said they strike "a balance that will protect public safety while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day".

Trump administration officials have repeatedly attacked sanctuary jurisdictions and local officials as "harbouring unsafe criminals".

Brown is named in the lawsuit along with Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who said the state is on firm legal footing. The law also requires that employers alert workers if their records are going to be inspected by federal officials.

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