Nation & World

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make ‘major’ sanctuary city announcement in Sacramento

UPDATE (8:42 p.m. PST): Sessions is coming to California to announce that the federal government will sue California over its “sanctuary city” status as relates to immigration. There are not expected to be any announcements on cannabis: The Cannifornian will report promptly if that changes.

SACRAMENTO — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make a “major” sanctuary city announcement Wednesday at a California Peace Officers’ Association event in Sacramento.

Sessions will make the “major sanctuary jurisdiction” announcement at the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

The announcement comes after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents of an imminent raid by federal immigration agents last week that led to the ICE director saying the mayor tipped off criminals. The White House and ICE Director Thomas Homan also announced that the Department of Justice would launch a “review” of the mayor’s actions. A department spokesperson declined to comment when asked this week whether a probe was underway.

Sessions has also notably challenged states like California that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal uses. In January, he rescinded a memo that directed federal prosecutors to use their own discretion in choosing to pursue or decline charges against marijuana offenders in states that had legalized cannabis. Last month, the city of Berkeley declared itself a sanctuary city for cannabis, pledging not to cooperate with any federal efforts

Carol Leveroni, CPOA executive director, said through various law enforcement liaisons her organization learned last week that Sessions planned to come to California to make a sanctuary jurisdiction speech.

Check out our updated map showing shops licensed to sell recreational cannabis in California.

“We extended an invitation to speak at our event,” Leveroni said in a phone interview Tuesday. She did not know any specifics of  the announcement, but Sessions accepted the invitation to speak at the annual event.

Leveroni’s law enforcement advocacy organization has publicly opposed Senate Bill 54, which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law last year making California a sanctuary state. Sessions had called that bill “unconscionable.”

The law limits whom state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration officials.

CPOA had opposed the bill “for its restraint on the communications with our federal partners,” Leveroni said.

“Despite how (bill author Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León) has presented the issue, the law enforcement profession, which CPOA represents, cannot and does not engage in immigration enforcement. We do, however, have a sworn duty to protect our communities from the release of potentially dangerous criminals, wherever they may come from,” said current president of CPOA, Beverly Hills Police Department Assistant Chief Marc Coopwood in a September statement. “Any attempt to restrict our ability to do that is not good policy.”

Originally, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott had been scheduled to speak Wednesday, Leveroni said, but alas he got bumped by Sessions.

Sessions is expected to speak at 8:05 a.m. at a downtown Sacramento hotel.

The event will be streamed to Facebook live through the California Peace Officers’ Association page at https://www.facebook.com/ CalPOA/.


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