Trump administration goes to war with states over immigration: The Justice Department sues California and New Jersey to overcome enforcement roadblocks
DESPARDES — Attorney General William Barr vowed Monday to escalate the fight against sanctuary jurisdictions and announced a round of lawsuits that target states and localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The top attorney for the Trump administration announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be slapping several states and localities with lawsuits over their sanctuary policies while delivering remarks at the National Sheriffs’ Association in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
DOJ later on announced complaints with California; New Jersey; and King County, Washington, over various policies that hinder the work of federal immigration authorities.
DOJ was filling a complaint ( Barr announced) against New Jersey for a directive that limits what information state and local law enforcement can share with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The directive — an order the attorney general of New Jersey launched in 2018 — also forbids local and state law enforcement from participating in ICE operations and includes other restrictions.
The GOP attorney general also said his department would file a complaint with King County, which encompasses the liberal city of Seattle, for not allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use the King County International Airport to remove illegal aliens ordered to be deported from the U.S.
Shortly after his address, the DOJ announced the two lawsuits against New Jersey and King County. Additionally, the department lodged a complaint against California that challenges a state law, A.B. 32, which prohibits the operation of private detention facilities. Barr said the law was intended to forbid the detention of aliens in its state.
“Today is a significant escalation in the federal government’s efforts to confront the resistance of ‘sanctuary cities.’ Barr said. “We will consider taking action against any jurisdiction that, or any politician who, unlawfully obstructs the federal enforcement of immigration law,” he added.
The moves were the latest in the Trump administration’s escalating crackdown against sanctuary jurisdictions across the country.
New York State officials have branded such moves as political ones aimed at firing up Trump’s base as he battles to be re-elected this November.
During the State of the Union (SOTU) address last week, President Trump devoted a significant portion of time to speaking about “sanctuary” laws and policies.
One of his potential rivals in 2020 re-run, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont, opposes such moves. “I am the son of an immigrant, young man of 17 who came to this country without a nickel. I have some sense of the immigrant experience. I will stand with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country…I will lead an administration that will look like America, will end the divisiveness brought by Trump, and bring us together.”
For the record, President Trump is also the son of an immigrant.