Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to be in Sacramento on Wednesday to make what his office describes as a “major sanctuary jurisdiction announcement,” just blocks from the state Capitol, where a new law making California a sanctuary state was passed and signed.
Sessions did not provide advance details of his announcement, but his Justice Department has been in an escalating legal battle with California, dozens of cities and counties in the state, including San Francisco, and hundreds nationwide whose laws and policies restrict local police and jailers from taking part in federal immigration enforcement.
His targets have included the local and state sanctuary laws, already the subject of court battles, as well as local officials like Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who publicly warned the immigrant community Feb. 24 of an impending Bay Area raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Acting ICE director, Thomas Homan, who previously threatened pro-sanctuary politicians with criminal prosecution, compared Schaaf to “a gang lookout.” President Trump’s press secretary said the Justice Department was looking into Schaaf’s actions.
Sanctuary laws predate the Trump administration — they spread nationwide during the presidency of Barack Obama, who deported record numbers of immigrants — and have won support from many law enforcement groups because they encourage noncitizens to report crimes without fear of deportation. (Read more from “Sessions to Make Major Announcement on Sanctuaries” HERE)