The lawsuit also seeks to invalidate Assembly Bill 450 (the Immigrant Worker Protection Act) which prohibits public and private employers from allowing ICE agents to enter non-public areas unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. And it challenges Assembly Bill 103, which created a state inspection system for immigration detention facilities. (This is only humane, considering California housed the deadliest detention center in the country last year.)


These may seem reasonable, but Sessions made his real problem clear in the speech, stressing that even minimal restrictions on immigration authorities were unacceptable to him. He said the laws “[create] an open border system,” and that “ICE agents are federal law enforcement officers carrying out federal law. California cannot forbid them or obstruct them in doing their jobs.”

Sessions may have also come to California as an act of personal retribution against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Becerra’s office has filed 28 lawsuits against the federal government, ranging on issues that range from the environment to immigration to health care. The state has yet to lose a single lawsuit.


In a response to Sessions’ speech, Becerra said California state laws are fully constitutional. “Our state laws work in concert with federal laws,” he said in a news conference.

Justice Department Sues California, California Fights Back