by CHQ Staff
To many conservatives it appears that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who as a Senator was one of the few principled conservatives serving in the upper chamber of Congress, has been asleep at his desk at the Department of Justice.
For the past year it has often looked as though Obama holdovers were in charge and few conservative priorities were being pursued. While things are far from perfect at DOJ conservatives can take heart that the Attorney General has taken on one of the most important challenges facing the Trump presidency and constitutional government; California’s “sanctuary” for illegal aliens policies.
Yesterday, in remarks to the California Peace Officers’ Association, Attorney General Sessions laid down the law to the state of California:
I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration. But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear.
There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is “the supreme law of the land.” I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.
A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system. Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.
The United States of America is not “an idea;” it is a secular nation-state with a Constitution, laws, and borders, all of which are designed to protect our nation’s interests. Surely, we should be able to agree on this much.
But, said Sessions, California we have a problem – the State’s “sanctuary” policies intended to frustrate federal law and immigrations enforcement.
And to those California politicians who are behind those policies General Sessions had a very direct message: California is using every power it has—and some it doesn’t—to frustrate federal law enforcement. So, you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.
Sessions then explained that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of California to invalidate those unjust laws and to immediately freeze their effect.
You can read the complaint through this link.
The specific provisions of California law the lawsuit seeks to invalidate are important for the rest of America to understand the radical nature of the steps California officials have taken to nullify federal law:
This lawsuit challenges three California statutes that reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law, to regulate private entities that seek to cooperate with federal authorities consistent with their obligations under federal law, and to impede consultation and communication between federal and state law enforcement officials.
The first statute, the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act,” Assembly Bill 450 (“AB 450”), prohibits private employers in California from voluntarily cooperating with federal officials who seek information relevant to immigration enforcement that occurs in places of employment.
The second statute, Assembly Bill 103 (“AB 103”), creates an inspection and review scheme that requires the Attorney General of California to investigate the immigration enforcement efforts of federal agents.
The third statute, Senate Bill 54 (“SB 54”), which includes the “California Values Act,” limits the ability of state and local law enforcement officers to provide the United States with basic information about individuals who are in their custody and are subject to federal immigration custody, or to transfer such individuals to federal immigration custody.
We welcome Attorney General Sessions’ principled stand against California’s challenge to constitutional government. Americans of all opinion on immigration should recognize that proclamations and ordinances passed establishing so-called “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” are the 21st century versions of South Carolina’s 19th century ordinance of nullification, and should be dealt with as President Jackson did – first by constitutional argument and then by exercising the political will to assert federal authority to enforce the laws Congress passes.