ICE Director Poised To Testify In California Immigration Lawsuit

Thomas Homan acting director of Immigrations and customs enforcement

The nation's top immigration enforcer may testify in a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration over California's so-called sanctuary laws that limit cooperation by local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman said it was his "strong inclination" to require four hours of sworn testimony from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director, Thomas Homan.

A final order is imminent, the judge said. 

Homan is being asked to back up the claims made by the Justice Department's lawsuit that say the federal government is suffering "irreparable harm" from the three California laws that protect illegal immigrants. 

The lawsuit brought by the Justice Department takes issue with three laws passed by California's legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. One law, SB 54, prevents state and local authorities from assisting federal immigration agents from informing them about cases when illegal immigrants who face deportation are released from jail. 

The lawsuit alleges the state of California has violated the Constitution by passing those laws and the Justice Department is asking for the judge to block them. Gov. Brown dismissed the lawsuit as a "political stunt" in a statement. 

“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America,” Brown said. “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

Homan and a senior Customs and Border Protection official are set to give depositions next month. 

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