(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) says Attorney General Jeff Sessions is right to sue the State of California for ignoring and/or violating federal immigration law.
Rokita said leftist-liberals are "looking for voters" among the crowds of illegal aliens who may someday be given a path to citizenship.
"We are either going to be a country of laws or we're not," Rokita told Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night. "The fact that people broke the law to get here doesn't mean the law's broken, it means they ignored and broke the law. And we have to follow the law, and what the Department of Justice did today (is) another reminder of why we were right to elect President Trump."
Not only should California be sued, Rokita said, but state and local politicians who ignore laws they don't like "ought to be locked up themselves."
Rokita has introduced a bill (the SLAP Act) that says elected officials who flout federal immigration law should be charged with a felony and "thrown in jail."
Carlson asked Rokita why leftists are so willing to ignore federal immigration law. In one recent example, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf publicly warned her constituents about an impending ICE raid, allowing hundreds of wanted aliens to evade ICE agents.
"Because they're looking for voters," Rokita said. "The open-border agenda from the left is really about importing voters because their ideas are so bad. Not only are people leaving San Francisco in droves, they're leaving the left in droves, and they need to import more voters. And that's the real problem here. Underlying all this, this is what it's about.
“And that's why these liberal-left politicians, starting with California but certainly not ending there, are in such a tizzy over this...They're putting the interest of illegal immigrants over the safety and concern of their own citizenry. That's how far out of whack the left has come."
Rokita said increasingly, a majority of Democrats are "right there" with California. He stressed the importance of electing Republicans in the midterm election to make sure Democrats don't gain a majority in the House or the Senate.
Addressing law enforcement officers in Sacramento on Wednesday, Attorney General Sessions said he never wanted to be put in the position of having to challenge California's sanctuary laws and policies: "But I can't sit by idly while the lawful authority of federal officers is being blocked by a legislative acts and politicians."
Sessions said the Justice Department is suing California to invalidate "these unjust laws" and immediately freeze their effect.
A furious Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said, "The White House is full of liars," and he said Sessions is just adding to those lies:
"We're not protecting criminals," Brown insisted. "We have a law that says exactly the opposite. And any time Jeff Sessions or Immigration wants to work to help deport criminals in this state, we will be glad to help him.
"But that's not what he's doing. He's going after men, women, and children, some who have worked 10 or 20 years picking our food, washing our dishes, building houses. And, yes, we need an immigration reform for the whole nation. We don't need a Gestapo-kind of tactic with vitriol spewing out of Jeff Sessions' mouth.
"It's unbecoming. It's a political stunt. And it's not what our highest law enforcement officer should be doing," Brown said.
The DOJ lawsuit against California details how three California laws have interfered with federal law enforcement efforts:
-- AB 450 prohibits private employers from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration officials—including officials conducting worksite enforcement efforts and other enforcement operations. It also requires that private employers notify employees in advance of a potential worksite enforcement inspection—despite clear federal law that has been on the books for approximately three decades that has no such requirements.
-- SB 54 restricts state and local law enforcement officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities about the release date of removable criminal aliens who are in their custody. These criminal aliens are subject to removal from the United States under federal immigration law, and SB 54 interferes with federal immigration authorities’ ability to carry out their responsibilities under federal law.
-- AB 103 imposes a state-run inspection and review scheme of the federal detention of aliens held in facilities pursuant to federal contracts. This includes review of immigration processes and the circumstances in which aliens were apprehended, and also requires access to privileged federal records that are under ICE’s control. With this law, California is trying to regulate federal immigration detention, which it cannot do under the Constitution.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Wednesday. "We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. And I believe that we are going to win.”