SACRAMENTO — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions took his war against sanctuary cities to California on Wednesday, announcing a federal lawsuit against the state and attacking its elected officials in the state’s capital city.
Sessions had harsh words in particular for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who recently announced publicly that federal authorities would be conducting immigration crackdowns in her area. That move has been heavily criticized by immigration officials, who allege she’s responsible for hundreds of criminals avoiding capture.
“So here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” Sessions said, according to prepared remarks released by the Justice Department. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda.”
The attorney general’s speech in Sacramento at a state law enforcement gathering came on the heels of a move by the Justice Department late Tuesday to sue California over its so-called “sanctuary” policies that prohibit some cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
The move is an aggressive escalation of a battle the administration has been waging since President Donald Trump’s inauguration to pressure local jurisdictions to help the feds catch undocumented immigrants.
California Officials Respond
California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a joint news conference immediately after Sessions discussed the lawsuit.
Watch what they said:
At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) March 7, 2018