Trump’s ICE Director continues to threaten millions of undocumented Californians despite the states’s new sanctuary status.
On Monday, California, home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants, officially became a “sanctuary state’ as the bill that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in October takes effect.
The law prohibits police from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities.
“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” Brown said on the day of the bill signing.
California passed the bill just as the Trump administration was pledging to crack down on sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Back in September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions alleged that “The bill risks the safety of good law enforcement officers and the safety of the neighborhoods that need their protection the most,” reflecting many other Republicans’ opinions on the now-passed bill.
In a September statement, ICE Director Thomas Homan said “By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety. Disturbingly, the legislation serves to codify a dangerous policy that deliberately obstructs our country’s immigration laws and shelters serious criminal alien offenders.”
What’s Happening Now:
On Tuesday, President Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called for a crackdown on sanctuary cities, adding that politicians who help run them should be charged with crimes.
In an interview, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan suggested that the Department of Justice needs “to file charges against the sanctuary cities” and “hold back their funding.”
Homan, who was announced to be President Trump’s pick to permanently run the agency back in December, called for politicians enforcing sanctuary city policies to be held “personally accountable.”
“We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” he said.
“I think it’s terrible–you got the state of California that wants to put politics ahead of public safety, ahead of officer safety. What they have done is forced my officers to arrest dangerous criminals on their turf, in their homes and places of business, rather than arresting them in the safety and security of a county jail,” Homan complained. “It’s ridiculous to annoyingly and intentionally put law enforcement at risk.”
Homan’s remarks follow discussions involving California Governor Jerry Brown, a champion for undocumented immigrants, who signed a bill in October that declared California a sanctuary state.
Referencing Brown, Homan said, “If he thinks he’s protecting immigrant communities, he’s doing quite the opposite because if he thinks ICE is going away, we’re not. There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement.”
“I’m going to significantly increase our enforcement presence in California — we’re already doing it,” the ICE Director vowed, saying California “better hold on tight,” threating that “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation hours in the state of California.”
Sanctuary cities have increasingly come under extreme scrutiny since Trump took office in January since they limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement- ultimately conflicting with Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
Trump spotlighted the issue throughout his 2016 campaign, arguing that sanctuary city policies prevent law enforcement from ensuring the safety of Americans.
H/T: The Hill