California Sues DOJ, AG Sessions; State Refuses to Cooperate with Federal Immigration Authorities

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

August 15, 2017
On August 13, California filed a law suit against the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in order to prevent an interruption in the flow of federal law enforcement grants to the states’ sanctuary cities. San Francisco had previously filed a similar suit.

According to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, state and local jurisdictions received $28 million this year, money that’s at risk unless cities cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Specifically, local jurisdictions must, according to the Department of Homeland Security, give 48 hours’ notice before releasing criminal aliens. Becerra called the Trump administration’s effort to end funding “bullying,” and San Francisco AG Dennis Herrera said cooperation with the feds would lead to breaking up families, an oft told tale.

That San Francisco would measures to make the city safer is painful to contemplate. Just a little more than two years ago in San Francisco, five-time deported, seven-time convicted aliens Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez shot and killed Kate Steinle. And in 2008, alien MS-13 gangbanger Edwin Ramos gunned down Tony Bolonga, 48, and his two sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16 as they drove through San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon. Ramos shot at but missed a third son, 21-year-old Andrew. 
Steinle, her family and her killer
Kate Steinle, her parents Liz Sullivan and Jim Steinle, and her murderer,
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.


At his press conference, Becerra said “It’s a low blow to our men and women who wear the badge, for the federal government to threaten their crime-fighting resources in order to force them to do the work of the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement.”

Sanctuary city officials and advocates deceptively claim that they have neither the time nor the financial resources to enforce federal immigration law. But in reality, their objective is to protect illegal immigrants and to actively interfere with DHS efforts to legally remove criminal aliens or others illegally present. Impeding federal officers in the course of their duty is a crime.

The state and several California cities have ratcheted up their opposition to President Trump’s January Executive Order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” From the order: “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.  These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.”

The California Assembly is on summer break until August 21. Time is short. To honor the memories of Kate, the Bologna family and the many other victims of preventable crimes, take action now to block SB 54, the bill that would officially make California a sanctuary state, and which has Governor Jerry Brown’s full support.

Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your Assemblyman to reject SB 54, and to instead make the state a sanctuary for its citizens and legal permanent residents. Watch the CAPS TV ad here, and read the accompanying press release here.

Californians and non-Californians can also sign a petition here that will be delivered to the U.S. Senate and urge it to pass HR 3003, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” that the House approved earlier this summer. 

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