On Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) fired back at Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against his state’s immigration policies.
In a press conference at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Brown said the attorney general was catering to a conservative agenda, as well as President Trump.
Brown said, “This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer. This is a political stunt. We know the Trump administration is full of liars. They’ve pled guilty already to the special counsel. This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It’s not wise, it’s not right, and it will not stand.”
Late Tuesday, the lawsuit was filed. It targets three California laws aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants.
One law requires employers to notify employees if immigration authorities are going to conduct enforcement operations on the job site.
The second law allows California’s Department of Justice to inspect federal detention facilities where undocumented immigrants are held.
Finally, the third law prevents state and local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to transfer or facilitate detentions of undocumented immigrants in state custody. Opponents of the third measure say it makes California a sanctuary jurisdiction for undocumented immigrants.
The Department of Justice says those three laws “have the purpose and effect of making it more difficult for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California.”
In Sacramento, Sessions told officers, “California is using every power it has, and some it doesn’t, to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.”
Sessions said that California was trying to nullify federal law.
He continued, “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg, to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled.”
Brown said Sessions’ speech was “unbecoming” of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.
Brown suggested that Sessions is trying to return to Trump’s good graces after a rough first year.
Brown said, “I assume, and this is pure speculation, that Jeff thinks that Donald will be happy with him. Let’s face it, the Trump White House is under siege. [Special counsel Robert] Mueller is closing in. There are more indictments to come.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) also appeared with Brown. He said that his office would develop a defense for the three state laws. He even said the lawsuit would fail.
Becerra clarified, “The lawsuit challenges some of our state laws, which are again fully constitutional and provide for the safety and welfare of all of our people. The 10th Amendment provides California with the right to decline to participate in civil immigration enforcement.”
According to Becerra, the Trump administration has opened itself to the discovery process, which would then lead to California lawyers digging into the internal debate over the lawsuit, which could drag on for years.
Brown predicted, “This lawsuit is going to last a lot longer than the Trump administration.”
Check out Brown & Becerra’s press conference below…
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Credit: The Hill