Attorney General Bill Barr Photo: Leah Millis-Pool/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday announced a slew of lawsuits targeting New Jersey, California and King County, Washington, over laws and policies that the agency claims make it harder to enforce federal immigration law.

Why it matters: The administration has long railed against "sanctuary cities" and has been rolling out retaliatory actions against states, counties and cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement.

  • California recently passed a state law banning the use of private detention facilities.
  • New Jersey state laws prohibit state and local law enforcement from sharing certain information about immigrants in criminal custody.
  • King County prevents the Department of Homeland Security from deporting immigrants using the county's international airport.

Driving the news: Attorney General Bill Barr announced some of the lawsuits in a speech to the National Sheriffs' Association on Monday. He said the Justice Department is "reviewing the practices, policies and laws of other jurisdictions across the country" to determine whether they comply with laws that prohibit "harboring or shielding" unauthorized immigrants.

  • "We are robustly supporting DHS in its effort to use all lawful means to obtain the information it needs to carry out its mission," Barr said. He threatened the use of federal subpoenas to access information about immigrants who have committed crimes.
  • The department is also "meticulously reviewing the actions of certain district attorneys who have adopted policies of charging foreign nationals with lesser offenses" in order to avoid having those immigrants deported, Barr said.

The big picture: Last week, the Department of Homeland Security ended expedited airport processing programs for New Yorkers, citing state law that prevents federal immigration officials from accessing vehicle records without a court order.

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White House aides and Senate Republicans have spent the past week readying binders full of messaging and rebuttals to guide Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a pre-Nov. 3 confirmation. "We knew for days it was going to be Amy," a Senate GOP aide involved in her confirmation process told Axios.

What we're hearing: Beyond the expected questions about her views on religion, abortion and health care, Republicans worry about Democrats painting Barrett as someone who is insensitive and unfair to “the little guy,” one source involved in the talks told Axios.

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Debate commission co-chair: We don't expect moderators to fact-check candidates

Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone," Fahrenkopf said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

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