More than 100 protestors demonstrated outside the federal courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments over the U.S. Justice Department's request to block three California laws that extend protections to people in the country illegally, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Judge appears skeptical of Trump suit against California

June 21, 2018 - 2:59 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. judge appeared skeptical of some of the Trump administration's key arguments for seeking to block three California laws intended to protect immigrants in the country illegally.

During a lengthy court hearing on Wednesday, Judge John Mendez questioned the scope of federal power over immigration and said he wasn't convinced California enacted the protections in an effort to interfere with federal immigration enforcement.

Mendez also pressed lawyers for the state and warned not to read too much into his questions. But he appeared to reserve his toughest questions for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The administration's lawsuit against California says the three laws obstruct immigration enforcement efforts and allow dangerous criminals on the street.

California officials say their sanctuary policies promote trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

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