Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not hold back Wednesday in Sacramento, California, as he formally announced a lawsuit against the Golden State over its failure to comport with federal laws on immigration. "So you can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop them", Sessions told a group of law enforcement officials. "A series of actions and events has occurred here that directly and adversely impacts the work of our federal officers". There's no other way to interpret her remarks.
"Now is good time to remind our community Oakland's violent crime rate has dropped dramatically in the last five years", she tweeted on Wednesday.
The lawsuit targets three laws in particular: the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54).
Protesters who greeted Sessions offered a stark reminder of the kind of resistance he faces.
"For undocumented families who already live in fear of being separated from their families, we know U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement brings heightened anxiety", he said in a statement.
"California is using every power it has - and some it doesn't - to frustrate federal law enforcement. It's in the Constitution". State Senate leader Kevin de León - whose bid for the U.S. Senate is premised on opposing Trump - showed up at protests outside Sessions' speech and called in former Attorney General Eric Holder to file an amicus brief opposing the administration.
The Supreme Court reinforced the federal government's primacy in enforcing immigration law when it blocked much of Arizona's tough 2010 immigration law on similar grounds.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also had strong words to say on the matter and vowed that the state will stay the course in order to protect all the state's citizens by upholding the law. Sessions said at a news conference. Commonly known as sanctuary laws, those statutes, among other actions, prevent businesses from allowing federal immigration officers to enter their property without a warrant.
"Under our federal system, states don't have to assist the federal government with immigration enforcement", he told LifeZette. "That, I think, is a legal problem for California".
"Those who support sanctuary policies may think they are channeling Gandhi, but they are more like Al Capone", he said in a statement.
Sessions maintained his commitment to border security and legal immigration policies, accusing left-wing "extremists" of protecting "lawbreakers". "But it seems like they have a case". Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the USA after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country, said the agency in a press statement, adding that the remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
"How dare you?" he said of Schaaf at a California Peace Officers Association meeting in Sacramento.
"So here's my message to Mayor Schaaf", Sessions added.
"For example, the mayor of Oakland has been actively seeking to help illegal aliens avoid apprehension by ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]", Sessions said.