Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) appeared on MSNBC's All In with host Chris Hayes Wednesday night to discuss Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech on California ignoring the nation's immigration laws and likening it to nullification. Harris warned that it's not a good idea for Sessions to bring up Civil War history and said his credibility is "pretty shot" on those issues.
Hayes prompted the comments from Harris when he brought up Sessions' reference to "slave states in nullification and secession" in denouncing California for evading federal immigration law. (Editor's note: Sessions actually said: 'There is no nullification. There is no secession.' He then invited "any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln." There was no abject overtures to slavery and reconstruction.)
"Attorney General Sessions compared California’s actions quite intentionally I think, to be actions of the slave states in nullification and secession and the Civil War. What do you say to that?" Hayes asked.
"Indeed, indeed he did. Listen, as far as I’m concerned Jeff Sessions should be advised and I’ll advise him right now that -- that it is -- it -- it’s a bad idea for him to start talking about anything to do with the history of slavery or reconstruction or the Civil War in the United States. His credibility is pretty much shot on those issues. But on the topic at hand Chris, I think Jerry Brown is absolutely right," Harris responded.
Yet when it came to the supremacy of the federal government in regard to immigration the junior Senator from California called the administration hypocrites because he won't defend applying the full terms of the VRA in every state.
"You can look at this attorney general who has said that imposing the terms of the Voting Rights Act on the states creates an undo burden and is meddling with the affairs of each state. So it’s hypocrisy at it’s height," Harris said.
Harris took the side of states' rights when it comes to immigration. and threatened that "California's going to fight" because the state "represents the future." She also claimed the Trump administration and Sessions "in particular" have "clearly put a target on the back of California."
"This Administration and Jeff Sessions in particular have clearly put a target on the back of California and California’s going to fight," Harris proclaimed. "And, I think that these folks are really mired in rolling back the clock in time and that’s not going to happen. California represents the future. And -- and they don’t like it, but there you go."
"There’s a distraction in that they are trying to suggest that this is about the Constitution when in fact what they’re doing is they’re playing politics. They’re playing politics and they’re playing politics with California. This attorney general is doing that and he’s going to lose," Harris said.
Harris said she supported the mayor of Oakland to warn illegal immigrants of an impending ICE race because she is making a decision based on her "estimation of what’s in the best interest of their constituents."
"My strong feeling and -- and -- and the work that I’ve been doing and the fight that I will continue to wage is to get protection for these DREAMers and give them a permanent sense of protection. And -- and again, let’s stop playing politics and fear mongering around this population of young people who have only known one home, which is our home. They are serving in our military. They are in our colleges and our universities. And we made a promise to them that we would protect them and we need to keep our promise," Harris said of Trump's demand that Democrats do something about DACA.