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SHOWDOWN DOJ sues California over interference with immigration enforcement

Issued: 2018-03-07

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.

Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry has the latest developments.

The Trump Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday night against California, saying three recently-passed state laws were deliberately interfering with federal immigration policies.

It marked the latest legal and political confrontation with the nation's most populous state, which the federal government says has repeatedly stood in the way of its plans to step up enforcement actions in the workplace and against criminal aliens.

"The Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies," Attorney General Jeff Sessions was expected to tell California law enforcement officers on Wednesday. "We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America."

The state's Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, fired back: “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!!!”

Federal officials are seeking an injunction to immediately block enforcement of the three California laws, each enacted within the past year.

One of those laws offers additional worker protections against federal immigration enforcement actions. Senior Justice Department officials have said it's prevented companies from voluntarily cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

Employers are mandated under the law to demand ICE agents present a warrant or subpoena before entering certain areas of the premises, or when accessing some employee records.

Some companies have complained they've felt torn between trying to comply with seemingly contradictory state and federal statutes, since penalties for non-compliance can be steep from both entities.

Another state law dubbed known by critics as the "sanctuary state" bill protects immigrants without legal residency by limiting state and municipal cooperation with the feds, including what information can be shared about illegal-immigrant inmates.

A third law gives state officials the power to monitor and inspect immigrant detention facilities either run directly by, or contracted through, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Justice Department has said it's confident the Constitution's Supremacy Clause gives it broad authority to supersede state laws that it says interfere with its immigration enforcement obligations.


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