Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am

Sessions spars in California

Feud over immigration escalates

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions brought the Trump administration's feud with California to the doorstep of the state Capitol on Wednesday, suing over its so-called sanctuary state law and escalating a war with the liberal powerhouse in a sharp exchange of words with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Sessions was defiant as he spoke to local law enforcement officials about the lawsuit, citing a series of state laws that he says are unconstitutional and violate common sense.

“I can't sit by idly while the lawful authority of federal officers are being blocked by legislative acts and politicians,” he said, straying from his prepared remarks.

Brown didn't hold back, calling Sessions a liar and saying it was unprecedented for the attorney general to “act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer.” He accused Sessions of “going to war” with California to appease President Donald Trump.

“What Jeff Sessions said is simply not true, and I call upon him to apologize to the people of California for bringing the mendacity of Washington to California,” the governor said.

The lawsuit is the latest salvo in a feud between the Trump administration and California, which has resisted the president on marijuana policy and climate change and refuses to help federal agents detain and deport immigrants.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it will increase its presence in California, and Sessions wants to cut off funding to jurisdictions that won't cooperate.