President disappointed in the state’s efforts to target illegal immigration
As soon as President Donald Trump was sworn into office last year, various states and jurisdictions have pledged not to adhere to the federal government’s new stringent immigration plans.
These so-called “sanctuary” cities and states have ordered their law enforcement agencies not to aid and abet federal immigration agencies, such as the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in the patrolling and detention of undocumented immigrants.
California has been one of the most critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, especially the actions of ICE.
After labeling “the sanctuary city situation” as a “disgrace,” Trump casually mentioned that he is thinking about pulling ICE out of the state, altogether, as punishment for what he claimed was a “lousy management job” by California’s law enforcement and leadership.
“You know what, I’m thinking about doing it,” the president said at a roundtable listening session at the White House on Thursday, February 23. “We’re getting no help from the state of California. Frankly, if I pulled our people from California, you would have a crime nest like you’ve never seen in California.”
It is uncertain whether or not Trump is serious about this motion. Neither ICE nor the Department of Homeland Security — which oversees all federal immigration agencies — have commented on Trump’s remarks.
Over the last year, the federal government has beefed up ICE presence and immigration enforcement in California as a way to pressure the unflinching state leaders to comply with federal orders.
The passing of SB 54, California’s sanctuary state bill, solidified the state’s staunch commitment to this cause. SB 54 prevents the state of California from helping federal immigration agencies in immigration operations, whether that be turning over information that could lead to the capture of undocumented immigrants or actively patrolling alongside federal agents.
“Californians simply will not divert its public safety assets to stalk law-abiding immigrants and undermine the safety in our communities in the process,” California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) said in a statement. “California is building a wall of justice against President Trump’s xenophobic, racist and ignorant immigration policies. We will resist and we will overcome, and we will prove to the nation there is a hopeful future for our country where we cherish diversity and respect our immigrant heritage.”
As previously reported by the Asian Journal, ICE said that it had detained more than 200 people in the LA area during a five-day operation. The agency said that 88 percent of those who were detained were convicted criminals, some of whom will be prosecuted. The others await deportation hearings or immediate deportation.
ICE claimed that the raids were made in the name of public safety.
Trump’s surprising remark also comes two weeks after the San Gabriel City Council ended an agreement between the San Gabriel Police Department and ICE, a partnership signed in secret months before and publicized a month after it was finalized.
The SGPD received pushback for agreeing to the partnership without the knowledge of the city council and the public.
In the last few weeks, pressure has been mounting as ICE has threatened to stage multiple raids all across the state; Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan warned Californians in January to “hold on tight” for an increase in ICE operations. (Klarize Medenilla/AJ Press)