California Faces Federal Lawsuits Due to Immigrant Protection Laws

For many legal analysts, the day when the United States Department of Justice would take the State of California to court over immigration sanctuary laws was just a matter of time. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an official who has been at odds with President Donald Trump over his decision to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign, was expected to fly into Sacramento on March 7 to discuss the lawsuits with state law enforcement officials.

The lawsuit seeks to block three California laws that make it difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to track down and detain undocumented immigrants and other foreigners who may have been arrested or convicted with certain crimes. ICE agents have also been targeting immigrants whose legal status may have become irregular due to administrative issues. Due to the immigration protection laws enacted by the Golden State, the White House has made it a point to deploy Trump’s so-called “deportation force” in higher numbers across California.

During an official announcement, the Attorney General explained that the key complaint of the lawsuit is that the laws enacted by California run afoul of the Constitution insofar as preventing federal agents from carrying out their duties. Governor Jerry Brown responded to the announcement with a mocking Twitter update, which has yet to be addressed by President Trump, whose immigration policies have been heavily criticized by California officials.

The Attorney General is not expected to receive a warm welcome in California. State Assembly and Senate leaders stated that Sessions should not bother making a trip at all. Immigration advocates, members of the Democratic Party and labor unions are expected to stage massive protests in Sacramento during the visit by Sessions, a White House official who is very unpopular in the Golden State.

As expected, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a statement of support on behalf of the Attorney General; however, she mentioned that the U.S. Congress will be ultimately responsible for settling the matter. With midterm Congressional elections taking place across the country in 2018, the House of Representatives and the Senate are expected to gain strong Democratic majorities, a situation that may very well result in the affirmation of California laws with regard to immigration protections.

Another federal lawsuit that California may face during the Trump administration is related to the legalization of marijuana for retail purposes; legal analysts believe that such a lawsuit could be filed later this year.



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