California Governor Jerry Brown thought he was above the law when he defied President Donald Trump to declare his state to be a sanctuary state. Unfortunately for Brown, however, he just learned he was dead wrong.
Trump dropped the hammer on the “sanctuary state” of California this week when Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit against the state’s immigration policies. Brown responded by having a pathetic meltdown at a press conference in which he accused Sessions of catering to Trump and to his conservative base.
“This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer. This is a political stunt,” Brown said, according to The Hill. “We know the Trump administration is full of liars. They’ve pled guilty already to the special counsel. This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It’s not wise, it’s not right, and it will not stand.”
The lawsuit filed by Sessions on Tuesday targets three California laws aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants. The first law requires employers to notify employees if immigration authorities are going to conduct enforcement operations on the job site, while the second law allows California’s Department of Justice to inspect federal detention facilities where undocumented immigrants are held.
The third law stops state and local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to transfer or facilitate detentions of undocumented immigrants in state custody. This specific law is what Trump’s supporters have said makes California a sanctuary jurisdiction for undocumented immigrants.
Trump’s Department of Justice said in court documents that these three laws “have the purpose and effect of making it more difficult for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California.”
“California is using every power it has, and some it doesn’t, to frustrate federal law enforcement,” Sessions told a gathering of officers in Sacramento. “So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.”
He went on to say that California was trying to nullify the law.
“There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg, to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled,” Sessions said.
Brown lost his mind at this, saying that Sessions’ speech was “unbecoming” of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. The governor then suggested that Sessions is trying to return to Trump’s good graces after a rocky first year in which Trump and Sessions developed a serious rift in their once-close relationship.
“I assume, and this is pure speculation, that Jeff thinks that Donald will be happy with him,” Brown said. “Let’s face it, the Trump White House is under siege. [Special counsel Robert] Mueller is closing in. There are more indictments to come.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) pledged that his office will vigorously defend the three laws.
“The lawsuit challenges some of our state laws, which are again fully constitutional and provide for the safety and welfare of all of our people,” Becerra said. “The 10th Amendment provides California with the right to decline to participate in civil immigration enforcement.”
He went on to say that Trump’s DOJ opened itself to the discovery process, which would allow California lawyers to dig into the internal debate over the lawsuit, which could drag on for years.
“This lawsuit is going to last a lot longer than the Trump administration,” Brown ominously concluded.
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