Trump administration sues California over its immigration policies

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to the National Association of Attorneys General 2018 Winter Meeting in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The Trump administration has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of California and its top officials over its immigration policies, which the administration has been criticizing for nearly a year.

Administration officials filed the lawsuit looking to stop three state laws which it says are blatantly obstructing federal immigration law and violating the United States Constitution’s supremacy clause.

“Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told law enforcement organizations in Sacramento.

‘California absolutely, it appears to me, is using every power it has – powers it doesn’t have – to frustrate federal law enforcement,” added Sessions. “So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.”

The California sanctuary laws that the administration are targeting, which were all enacted last year, state that business owners cannot voluntarily help federal agents find and detain undocumented workers and command that citizens should prevent local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when a detainee is released from custody. In addition, it creates a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

The lawsuit represents the most aggressive move that Washington D.C. has made against the state of California and its so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term referring to localities that implement measures of non-cooperation with federal law enforcement.

The filed lawsuit specifically named California Governor Edmund G. Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra as defendants.

“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America,” said Brown. “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here.”

The legal battle comes amid President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign to find and deport undocumented immigrants across America.

Trump is expected to arrive in California next week to inspect prototypes for his proposed border wall between U.S. and Mexico.