‘They’d beg us to come back’: Trump mulls pulling ICE from ‘sanctuary’ California
Trump brought up California’s “sanctuary state” policies at Thursday’s meeting about school safety at the White House, prompted by last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school.
“Frankly, it’s a disgrace. The sanctuary city situation,” Trump told a gathering of his Cabinet members, state and local officials. “If we ever pulled our ICE out… in two months they’d be begging for us to come back. They would be begging. And you know what? I'm thinking about doing it.”
.@POTUS: "The sanctuary city situation... The protection of these horrible criminals in California, that if we ever pulled our ICE out... in 2 months they'd be begging for us to come back. They would be begging. And you know what? I'm thinking about doing it." pic.twitter.com/wfSC16SdzU— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 22, 2018
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol were told to leave California alone, “you’d see crime like nobody’s ever seen crime in this country,” Trump argued.
White House spokesman Raj Shah described the actions of California's leadership as "troubling."
“We think California should actually enforce federal immigration law instead of get in the way of it,” Shah told reporters at the White House.
A number of cities and counties in California have adopted “sanctuary” policies, meaning that they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining immigrants that are in the US illegally. In October, however, Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a law declaring the entire state a sanctuary. Under the law, local officials can’t use state funds to aid federal immigration enforcement and federal officials are required to obtain a warrant before accessing California work sites.
Employers are also forbidden to share confidential employee information without a subpoena. California attorney general Xavier Becerra has threatened harsh penalties for companies that cooperate with federal authorities in violation of the state law.
Last month, two Democrat senators from California, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, wrote to ICE demanding documents about “troubling” ICE raids in the state. Using scarce ICE resources to punish California and score political points is “an abhorrent abuse of power,” they wrote.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan rejected the criticism, saying that ICE is not conducting indiscriminate raids targeting minorities.
“I didn't think these senators were in the business of enacting laws they didn't want enforced. I'm enforcing the laws they enacted,” Homan told Fox News on Wednesday.