California’s governor has accused the US Department of Justice of waging war after it filed a lawsuit against the state over its immigration policies.
Governor Jerry Brown’s remarks came an hour after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions attacked the state’s “open borders” in a speech in Sacramento.
The department filed a lawsuit over the state’s “sanctuary” laws that protect illegal immigrants from deportation.
Mr Brown accused Mr Sessions of lying to appease President Donald Trump.
“Like so many in the Trump administration, this attorney general has no regard for the truth,” Governor Brown told reporters, arguing the state’s laws were created with input and support from California law enforcement.
“This is basically going to war against the state of California.”
Mr Sessions had earlier addressed a group of law enforcement officials in the state’s capital city a day after he filed a lawsuit over three of California’s laws regarding “sanctuary” policies, which curb co-operation with federal immigration authorities.
“California absolutely, it appears to me, is using every power it has – powers it doesn’t have – to frustrate federal law enforcement,” the top law enforcement official said on Wednesday.
“So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them.”
He also repeated his criticism of the mayor of Oakland, California, who tipped off undocumented immigrants to an upcoming raid last month.
Mayor Libby Schaaf has defended her warning ahead of the raid while the White House called her actions “outrageous”.
“How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda?” Mr Sessions said of the mayor on Wednesday.
The justice department named the state of California, Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Sacramento on Tuesday.
California passed a law in October that bars police from asking residents about their immigration status.
By BBC NEWS
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