Federal government sues California over Sanctuary state laws

FRESNO, Calif. (WATE) - The immigration debate in California is heating up. The Federal Government is now suing the state over California's sanctuary state laws alleging they violate the U.S. Constitution. 

Under state law, local law enforcement officers are not allowed to participate or even help federal agents. 

Fred Vanderhoof, Chair of Fresno County Republic Party, is against sanctuary state laws. 

"The leaders of California are not protecting lives and property of those of us who live in California," said Fresno County Republican Party Chairman, Fred Vanderhoof. 

California's attorney general defends the state laws as constitutional saying it's essential to protect people's rights to privacy. 

Santos Garcia with Central Labor Council agrees. 

"In our communities there's a lot of fear, a lot of people don't want to take their kids to school, don't want to go grocery shopping, all these things because of the raids," said Garcia.

Federal agents have netted more than 230 undocumented immigrants in recent raids from Sacramento to the Bay Area according to ICE. Officials said 180 of those were convicted criminals or previously deported.

"Violent crimes against the community shouldn't be supported in any way, shape, or form but there are people being deported for just being an undocumented immigrant," Garcia said. 

All this after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made headlines last week for telegraphing the moves of ICE agents in the middle of an enforcement action. 

Those against California's sanctuary state laws don't expect them to be around for long.

"Our constitution says federal law supersedes state law, so we expect these will be overturned," said Vanderhoof. 

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