After more than a year on defense against legal challenges to President Trump’s immigration policies, the Justice Department went on offense Tuesday, suing the State of California for obstruction of federal immigration enforcement, reports Politico. Filed in federal court in Sacramento, the suit targets three sanctuary-focused laws that the state legislature passed last year. The litigation is modeled on a lawsuit the Obama administration filed in 2010 against a an Arizona law that sought to crack down on illegal immigrants. The Supreme Court ruled that some provisions of the Arizona law unconstitutionally intruded into Congress’ right to set federal immigration policy.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is traveling to California to tout the lawsuit Wednesday morning. “The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Sessions will tell the California Peace Officers Association. California Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra denounced the Trump administration’s action. “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!!!” Brown wrote on Twitter. Becerra denied that California is unlawfully undercutting federal immigration enforcement. “We’re doing nothing to intrude in the work of the federal government to do immigration enforcement,” he said.