A public policy analyst and former criminal prosecutor explains that individual states don't have the jurisdiction to advance immigration laws on their own, as California is attempting to do with its "sanctuary" laws.
Speaking on Wednesday to California law enforcement officers in Sacramento, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision to file a federal lawsuit against the state of California, seeking to block three state laws that he says are thwarting federal immigration enforcement agents from doing their job.
"California absolutely appears to me is using every power it has – [and] powers it doesn't have – to frustrate federal law enforcement," the AG said. "So you can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop that."
Art Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, says Sessions' decision to file suit against the state of California over its sanctuary policy is long overdue – and that the three laws identified in the lawsuit are the appropriate targets.
"Each of them violates the Supremacy Clause by obstructing immigration enforcement – and frankly, also by discriminating against federal immigration enforcement," Arthur tells OneNewsNow. "So it's appropriate that the Department of Justice take this action." But he doesn't believe these questions are going to be resolved until it gets to the Supreme Court.
During an interview Wednesday on American Family Radio, Abraham Hamilton III – general counsel and public policy analyst for the American Family Association – said the state has no legal ground to stand on in opposing federal immigration statutes.
"States individually do not have the jurisdiction to advance immigration policy," he emphasized. "The only reason why these states and these mayors are positing these positions is because they don't like the federal immigration policy – and if that is their contention, they need to use their positions and their ability to lobby the federal government. But they don't have the lawful ability to skirt the law."
Sessions had particularly strong words for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who tipped off residents last month that agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be conducting raids in the city within 24 hours. Hamilton, who has handled numerous felony prosecutions at the trial level, says Mayor Schaaf could be in trouble.
"Using her position as mayor to inform people who have violated federal law to skirt arrest and detention, based on their violation of that federal law, could [result in] some obstruction of justice charges filed against her," he offered.
The mayor defended her actions, saying she was trying to give illegal immigrants the tolls to defend their rights – and that she wanted to keep families together, according to The Washington Times.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.