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Trump administration sues California to block laws limiting cooperation with immigration authorities

SACRAMENTO, Calif - The Justice Department sued California late Tuesday, escalating the battle between the Trump administration and local governments over the issue of providing sanctuaries from a crackdown on immigration enforcement.

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 6:15 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif - The Justice Department sued California late Tuesday, escalating the battle between the Trump administration and local governments over the issue of providing sanctuaries from a crackdown on immigration enforcement.

The lawsuit, which also names Gov. Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, challenges three recently passed state laws that the Trump administration says hinder enforcement of federal immigration law and endanger federal agents.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the lawsuit Wednesday at an annual gathering of law enforcement organizations in Sacramento.

"The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you," Sessions said in remarks prepared for delivery to the law enforcement convention.

In signing the bills into law last October, Gov. 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."

The laws provide some of the most generous protections in the nation for immigrants facing deportation, but the Justice Department argues that they improperly venture into the enforcement of U.S. immigration law that is strictly a matter for the federal authorities.

DOJ lawyers consider the laws to be a novel attempt to regulate federal immigration.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the state capital of Sacramento, challenges three specific laws:

— SB 54, which restricts law enforcement officials from notifying federal immigration agents about the release dates for prisoners in their custody who have been convicted and therefore face deportation. It also prohibits local officials from transferring those prisoners to federal custody.

As a result, the Justice Department says, immigration agents face greater danger in re-arresting the former prisoners once they're back on the streets.

— AB 450, which forbids private employers from cooperating with immigration agents who conduct worksite enforcement operations. The law also requires employers to tell their workers when federal agents are coming to conduct inspections.

The Justice Department said a committee of the state legislature described the law as an effort to frustrate "an expected increase in federal immigration enforcement actions."

— And AB 103, which requires the state to inspect detention facilities where federal authorities are holding immigrants who face deportation.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 771321

Reported Deaths: 14691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2561486303
Riverside562011136
Orange512591111
San Bernardino51252838
San Diego43445748
Kern30916333
Fresno27312348
Sacramento20660364
Alameda20097356
Santa Clara19760293
San Joaquin19623399
Stanislaus16052317
Contra Costa15489194
Tulare15361253
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San Francisco1049091
San Mateo9264142
Monterey908965
Santa Barbara8741107
Merced8645131
Kings714477
Sonoma6777110
Marin6477106
Solano600752
Madera426758
Placer337340
San Luis Obispo329326
Yolo271053
Butte269531
Santa Cruz20967
Sutter160810
Napa158013
San Benito125410
Yuba10927
El Dorado10514
Mendocino80818
Lassen7290
Shasta65212
Glenn5393
Colusa4996
Nevada4965
Tehama4843
Humboldt4816
Lake4187
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
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Del Norte1351
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Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
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A trough of low pressure is moving over the Pacific Northwest and northern California, and it has already brought cooler air and gusty wind. A slight chance for showers and thunderstorms arrives Friday, but little rain will fall.
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