Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to make a formal announcement Wednesday at a California Peace Officers' Association event in Sacramento, the California capital. "And I believe we are going to win", according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks. In January, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra put employers on notice that they would be prosecuted if they did not follow the state's new Immigrant Worker Protection Act, AB 450, which prohibits businesses from voluntarily sharing information about workers with federal immigration agents.
"States and local jurisdictions have the right to determine which policies are best for their communities", he said.
"At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America", he said in a statement.
Then, in a direct shout-out to the attorney general, Brown wrote, "Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don't work here".
The suit is just the latest in a string of court battles over the trump administration's immigration policies. There are five other states considered to have so-called "sanctuary cities". The 23 sanctuary cities that were hit with a subpoena by Sessions have responded and are being reviewed on a rolling basis, officials said.
The president's comments were part of the continuing effort by the administration to pressure "sanctuary cities" to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Now, the administration is seeking to block three California laws by arguing that they violate the Constitution and federal law. Except for those held for a narrow set of serious crimes, these law enforcement officers can not transfer detainees to federal custody voluntarily. The state has defiantly refused to help federal agents detain and deport undocumented immigrants.
The Justice Department's suing states over their laws is uncommon but not unheard of. "That is now under review by the Department of Justice". None of the groups favored the state law restricting cooperation with immigration officials, but only the California State Sheriffs' Association was actively opposed and some individual officials voiced support.
"I feel pretty confident that he would have a hard time proving that there's a rational basis for the federal government commandeering state funds simply to get the state to accommodate the federal government's desires on immigration enforcement", Becerra said. That order, though, triggered legal challenges, and in April, the administration suffered a significant setback when a federal judge in San Francisco blocked the order's implementation. "It's a punch back to the lawlessness that's rampant in the state of California".
Last year, California enacted the sanctuary laws, which restricted when and how law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers. Brown ultimately signed it.
White House officials last week suggested that Schaaf may have engaged in obstruction of justice by warning the community before recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that resulted in the arrest of about 230 people between Sunday and Wednesday of this week.
ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan said that hundreds were able to dodge the operation "thanks to the mayor's irresponsible decision".
"Our duty at the Department of Homeland Security is to enforce and uphold the nation's security laws as passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President", Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. It's an essential part of Trump's efforts to crack down on cities and states that refuse to help enforce US immigration laws.