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Immigration Law

California Sues Trump, Sessions Over Sanctuary Cities Policy

California Attorney General, Aug. 14, 2017 - "The Trump Administration cannot manipulate federal grant fund requirements to pressure states, counties or municipalities to enforce federal immigration laws,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “By placing unconstitutional immigration enforcement conditions on public safety grants, the Trump Administration is threatening to harm a range of law enforcement initiatives across California. This is pure intimidation intended to force our law enforcement into changing the policies and practices that they have determined promote public safety. It’s a low blow to our brave men and women who wear the badge, and to the communities they serve. We will fight these unlawful federal actions that would make California less safe."

Josh Gerstein, Politico, Aug. 15, 2017 - "California has become the first state to sue the Trump administration over its anti-sanctuary cities policy.

Speaking at a San Francisco news conference, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state's suit argues that the Justice Department is violating the Constitution by trying to implement a new policy that would deny grants to jurisdictions that fail to give immigration authorities access to local jails or fail to give immigration officials 48 hours’ notice on the release of prisoners being sought on immigration charges.

“We abide by federal law. We respect the Constitution,” Becerra said. “The federal government should do the same. ... The federal government is using the threat of its power, of its size, to bully local jurisdictions to do what they want.”

California is joining two localities already suing over the policy change the Trump administration announced last month, Chicago and San Francisco. The suits argue that the administration lacks authority from Congress to add new conditions to federal grants. They also contend that the new policy amounts to a kind of coercion intended to press local law enforcement into acting at the direction of federal officials.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco Monday evening, well after the morning news conference."