News > National > Sessions: "California, we have a problem."

Sessions: "California, we have a problem."

Attorney General Sessions laid out the details of a lawsuit he has filed against California for passing laws he says keep ICE officers from doing their jobs

SACREMENTO, Calif. -- "California, we have a problem."  That's what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today while defending a new Justice Department lawsuit against the state. 

The lawsuit challenges state sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants.  Speaking in Sacramento, Sessions said a national system of lawful immigration serves the national interest.  He insisted that immigration policy is the "province of the federal government." 

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."

Sessions also rejected accusations that the Trump administration seeks to "wall off America." The lawsuit aims at three recently passed state laws that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. 

The Justice Department said those laws hinder agents from doing their jobs and could put them at risk.  When he signed the bills into law, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown said they will give comfort to families fearing deportation. 

CNN contributed to the article

(PHOTO: NurPhoto/Getty Images)

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