Judge allows questioning of ICE director in California suit

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Judge allows questioning of ICE director in California suit
FILE - 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. At a round table on sanctuary cities at the White House on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Homan mentioned three Northern California cases as examples of "undocumented criminals" who have reoffended after being released by California authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has 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 on Thursday 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.

Newman said California could question Homan about specific allegations that the 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.

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