SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown fired back at the Trump administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling a Department of Justice lawsuit against California's so-called "sanctuary" policies a "political stunt."
"What Jeff Sessions said is simply not true and I call upon him to apologize to the people of California for bringing the mendacity of Washington to California," Brown said.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Brown and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Sessions' allegations that California state laws prevented U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from making deportation arrests were untrue, and that California laws seek only to protect residents' civil rights and promote public safety.
"All people deserve humane treatment, and they deserve due process under the laws and constitution of the United States," Becerra said. "California is in the business of public safety, not in the business of deportations."
Jeff Sessions slams California immigration policy, says 'sanctuary' laws defy common sense
Brown went further in his criticism of Sessions calling the lawsuit "extremely unusual" and "pure red meat for the (Trump) base."
"I'm sure Trump will be tweeting his joy at this particular performance," Brown said.
He went on to say that traditionally in this type of situation the U.S. attorney general and California attorney general and their lawyers would meet to discuss differences of opinion.
He said that for the Department of Justice to sue the state was a particularly aggressive move.
"This is basically going to war against the state of California," Brown said, adding "I'm sure this lawsuit has more longevity than the Trump administration itself."
The Trump administration has threatened to withhold funding from jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigraiton enforcement.
Becerra said he looked forward to arguing the state's case in court.