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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 1:31 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2018 1:31 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
Summit45557909
Lucas40298765
Butler37768570
Stark31513895
Lorain24246473
Warren23910293
Mahoning20946583
Lake20067362
Clermont19459229
Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5189120
Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
Fayette278048
Morrow275939
Hardin264764
Henry264366
Coshocton259857
Holmes253499
Van Wert239262
Pike233831
Gallia233446
Adams229152
Wyandot227553
Hocking209759
Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Fort Wayne
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Lima
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Significantly cold air settles in across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio Tuesday night.
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