McClatchy's America

California sues Trump administration over threats to ‘sanctuary cities’

California filed a lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration over its threats to withhold public safety funds from so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Monday.

The move follows a U.S. Department of Justice directive issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in July that seeks to require cities and counties that declare themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in order to receive federal law enforcement grants.

“The Trump administration is starting with the very misguided premise (that) immigrants are a danger to the public or our public safety. That could be no further from the truth,” Becerra said at a press conference in San Francisco with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who filed a parallel lawsuit Monday on behalf of the city. “It’s our right and it’s our duty to fight to protect our law enforcement officers...and to protect the resources that they rely upon.

“We’re in the public safety business,” Becerra added. “We’re not in the deportation business.”

California receives $28 million in law enforcement grants annually, according to Becerra.