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Judge denies Trump administration attempt to block California sanctuary law

People protest outside a speech by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions March 7, 2018, in Sacramento, California. Sessions admonished California politicians for not cooperating with federal authorities on immigration enforcement issues.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned California Wednesday that the federal government would use all its legal powers to fight protections provided unauthorized immigrants, a day after suing the state over its sanctuary laws."California is using every power it has -- and some it doesn't -- to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I'm going to use every power I have to stop them," Sessions told law enforcement officials in Sacramento.
 / AFP PHOTO / NOAH BERGER        (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images
FILE: People protest outside a speech by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 7, 2018, in Sacramento, California. Sessions admonished state politicians for not cooperating with federal authorities on immigration enforcement issues.

A federal judge in Sacramento on Thursday dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to challenge California’s sanctuary law, known as S.B. 54.

The U.S. Department of Justice sought to block three California laws that aim to protect unauthorized immigrants, the main one being the sanctuary law, which limits local police cooperation with immigration agents.

U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez disagreed with the administration's argument that S.B. 54 impedes immigration agents from doing their jobs. He wrote that “refusing to help is not the same as impeding.”

The judge also denied the administration's attempt to block A.B. 103, a law that gives the state more authority to oversee immigrant detention facilities in California. But he partially blocked A.B. 450, a law known as the Immigrant Worker Protection Act. While employers in the state may still warn workers about immigration audits when employee documents are reviewed, agents may not be restricted from entering a business, the judge ruled.

It's not clear if the federal government will appeal the decision.