Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement Wednesday that the Justice Department is suing California over its so-called sanctuary policies is the latest escalation in the conflict between the Golden State and the Trump administration.
Speaking at the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day hosted by the California Peace Officers’ Association, Sessions strongly denounced California’s efforts to obstruct the work of federal immigration agents.
“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,” Sessions said. “We are simply asking California and other sanctuary jurisdictions to stop actively obstructing federal law enforcement.”
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, seeks to block three state laws enacted last year.
The first is the Immigrant Worker Protection Act which among other things prohibits employers in California from allowing ICE agents into their workplace without a warrant. The law, which was opposed by business groups like the California Fresh Fruit Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, carries steep financial penalties of up to $10,000 for employers who voluntarily allow ICE into their place of business.