As I write this, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is dropping a hammer on the state of California.
And frankly, it’s about time.
After warning Gov. Jerry Brown and fellow Democrats who run the single-party state for months their sanctuary policies that protect illegal aliens from deportation were going to land them in legal hot water, the AG was in the state to announce that the Justice Department was filing suit.
“California, we have a problem,” Sessions said, addressing an annual conference organized by California Peace Officers’ Association. “A series of actions and events have occurred here that directly and adversely impacts the work of our federal officers.”
Last fall, Democrats voted in favor of turning the entire state into a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants. Brown, acting on the advice of some law enforcement groups in the state, made some modifications to the legislation that were slightly less accommodating to the open-borders crowd, but he nevertheless signed the legislation, and California’s “sanctuary state” status became official Jan. 1.
But since then state and local officials have become illegal immigrant zealots, even going so far as to tip off non-citizen aliens less than 24 hours before Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were to begin round-up operations.
“For example, the mayor of Oakland has actively — has been actively seeking to help illegal aliens avoid apprehension by ICE,” Sessions said during his address.
It’s true. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf last week tipped her community off after she learned of confidential information regarding the raid. As bad as her obstruction of justice was — the DoJ is looking into that, by the way — she went even further and insisted that ICE agents performing their sworn duty were racists.
That’s not hyperbole; she really means it. And that’s disgusting. (Related: Report: Justice Dept. reviewing possibility of charges against Oakland mayor who TIPPED OFF illegal aliens to ICE raid.)
According to Fox News, Schaaf’s warning to northern California illegal aliens likely led to hundreds of them escaping, including those with violent and sex-related convictions.
Schaaf claimed that she issued the warning to ‘protect’ illegal aliens and her community; what a joke, except that nobody’s laughing — especially ICE agents and a number of California law enforcement officials. Or Jeff Sessions.
As Fox News noted, the ICE raids netted 232 arrests of illegal aliens in the San Francisco Bay area, of which, officials with the immigration enforcement agency said, 180 “were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed” from the country and had come back illegally.
The arrests included 115 who “had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.”
But according to acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, who was furious at Schaaf, as many as 800 illegal aliens who were on ICE agents’ lists managed to escape.
“What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘Police!’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood, except that she did it to an entire community. This is beyond the pale,” he told “Fox & Friends” last week.
“This is a whole new low, to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming,” he added.
One of those who Schaaf helped escape is a Mexican national who’d been convicted for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, as well as a conviction for drunk driving; he’d been deported in 2003. Another had a conviction for sodomizing a drugged victim in 2012 as well as a DUI this year.
These are some of the people that Schaaf helped to escape. She should be held liable to the fullest extent of federal law, and I hope they throw the book at her.
Meantime, Sessions has made it clear the Trump administration has run out of patience with California officials. It couldn’t have come too soon.
Let the legal games begin.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.