Jeff Sessions defends lawsuit against "radical" California on Fox News

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks on law enforcement efforts to combat the opioid crisis and violent crime in an address before the National Sheriffs Association Winter Conference in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018.

Yuri Gripas / REUTERS

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday night defended his department's lawsuit against California's immigration laws. In an appearance on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News, Sessions called the state's laws "radical."

"Somebody needs to stand up and say no, you've gone too far, you cannot do this, this is not reasonable," Sessions said. 

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Wednesday against three California laws that they claim interfere with enforcement of federal immigration law. California is a sanctuary state, meaning it does not comply with federal immigration laws. While there are only five other sanctuary states, there are hundreds of sanctuary cities nationwide -- and California is home to some of the most high-profile, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Sessions said the Justice Department is going to push back against sanctuary cities, saying "we're gonna use every lawful tool we have to push back against this activity. You can be sure of that."

"Ultimately, in this country, the American people have the final word," Sessions said. "And they have got to analyze what their leaders are doing, and if they're promoting these kind of unlawful, unwise and dangerous activities, they need to be held to account."

Sessions again called out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf -- who he specifically mentioned in his announcement as well -- for tipping off residents about an upcoming Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid.

This is a radical ideology," Sessions said. "It's contrary to the American law, the supreme law of the land is American immigration law and it must be enforced."  

On Wednesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra disagreed with the DOJ that it has endangered law enforcement officers with its tactics. 

"California is in the business of public safety. We're not in the business of deportations," Becerra said. "In California, we don't confuse coercion with cooperation. Neither should the Trump administration."