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Politics

Judge Allows Questioning Of ICE Director In California Suit

In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan, right, speaks as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello, looks on at a Department of Homeland Security news conference in Washington.
Associated Press
In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan, right, speaks as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello, looks on at a Department of Homeland Security news conference in Washington.

A federal judge on Thursday granted California's request to question the nation's top immigration enforcer in a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration over California laws to protect immigrants in the country illegally.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman ordered the administration to make U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan available for up to four hours of testimony no later than April 13.

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Newman said California could question Homan about specific allegations that three California laws were irreparably harming the federal government. The laws limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities by employers and state and local law enforcement agencies.

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The suit seeking to block the laws is based in part on Homan's 45-page written declaration citing several "egregious consequences" from the state's lack of cooperation, including examples of California agencies releasing immigrants who could have been deported but instead were free to commit violent crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice had argued that Homan was busy and his testimony wasn't needed.

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Newman also allowed California up to four hours to question Todd Hoffman, an official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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