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Jeff Sessions takes immigration fight to California, announces lawsuit

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took his war against sanctuary cities to California on Wednesday, announcing a federal...

Posted: Mar 7, 2018 12:31 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2018 12:31 PM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took his war against sanctuary cities to California on Wednesday, announcing a federal lawsuit against the state and attacking its elected officials as "radical extremists" in the state's capital city.

In a speech laden with tough rhetoric for his critics and immigration advocates, Sessions decried officials who support so-called sanctuary city policies as "extremists" promoting "open borders."

"Stop treating immigration agents differently from everybody else for the purpose of eviscerating border and immigration laws and advancing an open borders philosophy shared by only a few, the most radical extremists," Sessions said.

Sessions had harsh words in particular for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who recently announced publicly that federal authorities would be conducting immigration crackdowns in her area. That move has been heavily criticized by immigration officials, who allege she's responsible for hundreds of criminals avoiding capture.

"Her actions support those who flout our laws and boldly validates illegality," Sessions said. "There's no other way to interpret those remarks."

"So here's my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?" Sessions continued. "How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement to promote an open borders agenda."

The attorney general's speech in Sacramento at a state law enforcement gathering came on the heels of a move by the Justice Department late Tuesday to sue California over its so-called "sanctuary" policies that prohibit some cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

The move is an aggressive escalation of a battle the administration has been waging since President Donald Trump's inauguration to pressure local jurisdictions to help the feds catch undocumented immigrants.

Sessions defended the lawsuit, saying it was about preventing "nullification" of federal laws, which he compared to the secessionist movement during the Civil War.

"Contrary to what you might hear from the lawless open-borders radicals, we are not asking California, Oakland, or anyone else to actually effectively enforce immigration laws," Sessions said.

"I can't sit by idly while the lawful authorities of federal officers are being blocked by a legislative action of politicians," he added.

States and cities say their policies are protecting the best interest of their citizens and say they should not have to spend their limited resources on a federal responsibility.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said the lawsuit was a stunt.

"At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don't work here. SAD!!!" the Democratic governor tweeted.

Sessions defended the Trump administration's push on undocumented immigrants, stressing that it wants to focus on legal immigrants. The US welcomes over 1 million immigrants a year legally by giving them green cards, more than any other nation, he said.

"And let no one contend that we reject immigration and want to 'wall off America' from all immigrants," Sessions said. "Indeed, at this unprecedented rate, we will soon have the largest percentage of non-native born in our nation's history, and the percentage is continuing to rise every year thereafter."

The lawsuit is the latest broadside from the Trump administration against so-called "sanctuary cities" -- a broad term referring to localities that abide by some measure of non-cooperation with federal law enforcement though previous courts have blocked many of the administration's efforts to pressure sanctuary jurisdictions, with federal judges siding with those cities and states in litigation.

Sessions said Wednesday he expects to prevail in this case.

"California, (it) absolutely appears to me, is using every power it has -- powers it doesn't have -- to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop them," Sessions said. "We are going to fight these irrational, unfair, unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you and your officers or our federal officers. ... And we intend to win this fight."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
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