The Trump administration is suing New Jersey and a county in Washington state over “sanctuary” policies that allegedly disregard federal immigration law. According to NBC News, the suit against New Jersey is the first time the federal government is suing over a policy to limit the assistance local officials provide to immigration authorities. The policy in question is a directive that limits voluntary cooperation between law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and blocks local law enforcement from acting like immigration officials in county jails. The legal action against King County, Washington, takes issue with a 2019 policy that prevents ICE from using the King County International Airport for deportation flights.
Attorney General William Barr told reporters Monday the lawsuits were a “significant escalation in the federal government’s efforts to confront the resistance of ‘sanctuary cities.’” The announcement comes one week after the Trump administration suspended enrollment in the Global Entry travel program in New York over the state's “sanctuary policies.” New York has since sued the Trump administration over the move.