San Francisco pro-sanctuary protesters block the driveway of the ICE office on May 1, 2017. (Pax Ahimsa Gethen)

Trump Threatens to Pull ICE and CBP From California Over ‘Sanctuary’ Status

President Trump said Feb. 21 that he is thinking about pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers out of California over the state’s passage of a law declaring it a “sanctuary state.”

“All I’d have to say is ICE and Border Patrol, let California alone, you’d be inundated, you would see crime like nobody’s seen in this country,” Trump said, according to CNBC.

Trump’s remarks came during a White House listening session with state and local officials about school shootings, the the Los Angeles Times reported Feb. 21. He segued from comments about the El Salvadoran gang MS-13 into a denunciation of California, CNBC reported.

“Frankly, it’s a disgrace,” Trump said, “the sanctuary city situation, the protection of these horrible criminals.”

“If we ever pulled our ICE out and said, ‘Hey, let California alone and let them figure it out themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back. And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.”

California enacted a law in October 2017 barring law enforcement officers from asking people their immigration status during routine interactions. Employers are required to obtain a warrant from ICE enforcement agents before permitting them to enter their facilities and they can only share certain employee information with agents without a subpoena, CNBC reported.

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan been a vocal opponent of sanctuary declarations by U.S. cities and California. “California better hold on tight,” he told Fox News Jan. 2. “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California. If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”

Sanctuary cities are “putting politics over public safety,” Homan said Jan. 31 at the Border Patrol Expo in San Antonio, Homeland Security Today reported Feb. 1.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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