President Donald Trump is considering pulling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents out of California for protecting illegal immigrants.
“Frankly it’s a disgrace, the sanctuary city situation,” Trump said at a White House meeting Thursday, according to The Hill.
The president said that California has refused to cooperate with federal law enforcement since it declared itself a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.
Trump added that if the federal agencies left the state, “you would have a crime mess like you’ve never seen in California.”
“If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back, they would be begging,” Trump said. “And you know what, I’m thinking about doing it.”
CBS News reporter Mark Knoller tweeted the president’s sentiments.
In January, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said that California should “hold on tight” for more ICE operations. On Wednesday, he had to face accusations that the agency was using raids as a political tool for the Trump administration.
During an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Homan said, “We don’t conduct raids. We conduct targeted enforcement operations.”
“We don’t go into neighborhoods, knock on a bunch of doors looking for people different than us,” Homan said on Fox News. “Every person we arrest, we know exactly who we’re going to arrest, we know exactly when we’re going to arrest them.”
He added that ICE is merely enacting laws that they took an oath to enforce, and now under the current administration, they are allowed to enforce those laws passed by Congress.
Sanctuary cities are not protecting the immigrant community as they claim, according to Homan.
“If I can’t arrest a bad guy in the safety of a county jail, then I have to go to his home or his place of business, and that’s an officer safety concern. Number two, when I go to that home I may find others, others that were not on my radar that now I have to take action against,” he said.
“And thirdly, they’re releasing the criminal aliens back into their communities. The very communities in which they live are the communities they victimize.”
Homan said that immigrant communities in sanctuary states are at “further risk of criminal activity,” “greater risk of ICE arrest” and “enticing further illegal entry.”
During his Thursday meeting, Trump complimented Attorney General Jeff Sessions’, who frequently is criticised by the president for the Russia investigation, handling of gang violence.
“You’re doing a great job on the gangs,” he said.
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