SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions chastised California in its capital city for sanctuary laws in a speech Wednesday morning.
Sessions spoke at the California Peace Officers Association meeting in downtown Sacramento.
“We have a problem,” Sessions said, addressing California.
He specifically called out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who warned residents about impending raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently.
“How dare you,” Sessions said. “I can’t sit back idly while the lawful authority of federal officers [is] being blocked by politicians.”
As reported on Tuesday, the Justice Department is suing the state of California over its immigration policies. Sessions also called out California officials for how they are frustrating federal law enforcement.
“You can be sure I am going to use every power I have to stop that,” Sessions said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has denounced U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for speaking in the state about a lawsuit over policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
The Democrat accused Sessions of lying and of trying to appease President Donald Trump. Brown says the actions are about dividing America.
“This lawsuit … is going to last a lot longer than the Trump administration,” Brown said.
Brown argued that Sessions’ speech amounted only to “pure red meat” for President Donald Trump’s base.
“I think Jeff thinks Donald will be happy with him,” Brown said. “It’s not about law enforcement. It’s not about justice.”
Brown wouldn’t comment Shaaf’s public warning to illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit challenges California laws that bar police from asking people about their citizenship status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities. The suit filed in federal court in Sacramento says the laws are unconstitutional and have kept federal agents from doing their jobs.
California officials remain defiant and say they are on firm legal footing.
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