Skip to content

As California Protects Immigrants, Cities Revolt

The Department of Justice is already suing California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Now, some small California cities are mounting an attack from within.
Protesters in California raise signs criticizing the sanctuary movement
Protesters in California raise signs criticizing the sanctuary movementMike Blake/Reuters

The federal government’s attack on California’s “sanctuary state” laws is growing angry, grassroots heads.

After California moved to prevent state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials in October, Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Bacerra were met with swift retaliation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who sued them and the state, alleging that three of the state’s new laws (including Senate Bill 54) overstepped their rights as a state and violated the US Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. (It's the same argument the Department of Justice makes in another suit it filed against California this week, over jurisdiction in sales of federal land.) But while California officials await their days in court, a new resistance is being mounted from within.