The president came into office promising to crack down on undocumented immigrants in the United States, and although he’s faced some roadblocks in his efforts to implement the broad picture of his immigration policy, he has continued to work since taking office at making his proposals a reality.
One of the roadblocks faced by Trump and his team came in the form of a warning from Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf before a recent operation in her city by officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE agents have been in the news since Trump took office for conducting an occasionally claimed increased rate of raids on undocumented immigrants, and there have also been questions about whether or not the agency is truly sticking to going after undocumented immigrants who are a security threat to Americans.
In the face of these concerns and high profile recent incidents of families being separated, Schaaf chose to give her warning, and now, in the face of the “sanctuary city” status of jurisdictions across California, the federal government is suing the state.
The state, however, is not backing down from its commitment against blatant cooperation with federal immigration authorities, as evidenced in part through the state’s Lieutenant Governor praise of Schaaf’s decision.
After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions went after Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom over this. the state’s second-in-command responded with a statement welcoming the criticism.
‘Jeff Sessions just called me an embarrassment. A man whose legacy is targeting immigrants, re-waging the failed War on Drugs, sucking-up to private prison profiteers, and apologizing for white supremacists… I take that as a HUGE compliment.’
Sessions had gone after Newsom during an address to the California Peace Officers Association in Sacramento, commenting:
‘To make matters worse, the elected Lieutenant Governor of this state praised [Schaaf] for [delivering her ICE warning]. Bragging about and encouraging the obstruction of our law enforcement and the law is an embarrassment to this proud and important state.’
Newsom’s response to this criticism is certainly on point, considering the fact that Sessions has, for instance, revitalized the so-called “War on Drugs.” He’s done this through means including the rollback of the “Cole Memo,” which restricted federal authorities from going after states that had chosen to legalize marijuana, as long as they followed some basic guidelines.
Ironically, one of the states that has legalized marijuana is California, so the issue of immigration policy isn’t the only sticking point in the relationship between the state and Washington, D.C.
The Trump administration has moved to strip funding from sanctuary jurisdictions around the country, but those efforts have been stifled.
That move, then, joined an array of failed Trump administration efforts to mold national policy more towards the commander-in-chief’s liking. Late last year, the president finally got a major legislative victory in the form of his much maligned tax reform package, which came after months of failed efforts to repeal the Obama era-defining Affordable Care Act.
Trump has also, of course, pledged to put up a wall in between the United States and Mexico, but that has yet to materialize in any significant fashion.
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