WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Trump administration’s latest lawsuit against California involves a new law banning private prisons from operating in the state.
Despite the lawsuit, California lawmakers are defending the new state law banning all for-profit prison.
“Let’s be clear about private prisons and private detention centers, the business model there is that there are certain human beings who are profiting off the incarceration of other human beings,” said Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Sen. Harris raised concerns about what she calls a revolving door of former ICE officials working with for-profit prisons.
She says tax payer dollars shouldn’t go to companies that have an incentive to see more people in prison.
“I feel very strongly about this,” Sen. Harris said. “Lets cut off the public funding of private prisons.”
But most of the for-profit prisons in California house federal inmates, including immigrant detainees in ICE custody.
The DOJ says while California can choose not to do business with for-profit prisons, the state can’t force the Feds to do the same.
In an interview focused on sanctuary policies, Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said California does have the right to not cooperate with ICE.
“Not participating with ICE in removal operations, well there’s no requirement that they do so,” Cuccinelli said.
But he says generally California can’t interfere or disrupt federal agencies’ work.
“The only point at which it becomes operationally problematic is when they deny the actual flow of information that is important for doing law enforcement officers jobs,” Cuccinelli said.
The new DOJ lawsuit says that’s exactly what California is doing now.