California Officials Back Trump on Crackdown on ‘Sanctuary’ Policies

by Fred Lucas


California law enforcement and local officials gathered at the White House on Wednesday to make it clear that Sacramento doesn’t speak for them on illegal immigration.

The Democrat-controlled state legislature passed and Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed a “sanctuary state” law that prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities on matters such as detaining illegal immigrants in local jails or reporting them.

California state Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, a Republican, praised President Donald Trump for holding the White House meeting, noting that Brown has not met with Republican officials.

“This is your Republican resistance right here,” Melendez told the president during the Cabinet Room meeting, obliquely referencing the “resist” movement among some Democrats and liberals dedicated to opposing Trump’s policies.

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Seven mayors, four sheriffs and one deputy sheriff, two county supervisors, a city council member, and a district attorney—all from California—attended the White House meeting with the president and administration officials from the Justice and Homeland Security departments. Each expressed support for the administration’s tough immigration policies.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also attended.

Trump said that opposition to “sanctuary” policies is not limited to Republicans, as the public has increasingly become concerned about crime committed by illegal immigrants.

“We cannot let this butchery happen in America,” Trump said of violent crimes that illegal-immigrant gangs commit in the United States.

The president also said that California has “sparked a rebellion” with its sanctuary laws.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also in the meeting, has withheld some Justice Department grants from sanctuary jurisdictions across the country, and has sued California over its sanctuary state policy.

Trump also criticized Mexico for not helping stem the flow of illegal immigrants over the Mexico-U.S. border.

“Mexico does nothing for us,” the president said. “Mexico talks, but they do nothing for us, especially at the border.”

Trump said his administration is stopping more illegal immigrants from entering the country, but isn’t satisfied with that.

“Now, we do the best that we can,” he said. “We can do so much better.”

During the meeting, Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen exchanged compliments.

“Thank you for your leadership, sir, and for bringing us all together,” Nielsen said.

“And you’re doing a good job,” Trump replied. “It’s not an easy job.”

Lassen County, California, District Attorney Stacey Montgomery said the illegal-immigration problem has been exacerbated in part by the legalization of marijuana. A large number of illegal immigrants are marijuana growers, she said.

“So, legalization made it worse,” she said. “I’ve been appalled.”

Tom Homan, the retiring acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, defended ICE agents from politicized attacks and praised Trump for taking strong positions.

“I’ve worked for six presidents, and I respect them all, but no president has done more than you,” Homan said, with respect to battling illegal immigration.

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Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred.












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One Thought to “California Officials Back Trump on Crackdown on ‘Sanctuary’ Policies”

  1. Ralph

    The good people of California are not taking this lying down either – for many years now there has been a movement to separate the northern counties of California and the southern counties of Oregon, due to lack of representation. It was gaining traction and then Pearl Harbor derailed those efforts. In recent years it has been revived and more detail can be found at

    23 counties in California have banded together to seek a split from the state. Excerpt from the most recent declaration:

    “We the people of the 23 counties of Northern California, hereafter known as Jefferson, formally demand an immediate Article 4, Section 3, (U.S.) state split. We declare the State of California is in open rebellion and insurrection against the government of the United States.

    Governor J. Brown, Lt Governor G. Newsom, Senate Pro Tem K. León, Speaker A Rendon, States Attorney General X. Becerra, Senator K. Harris, and the majority of voting members of the California Legislature, have openly and publicly declared war on the government of the United States.

    Governor Brown and the above named politicians are in violation of USC 8, Section 1324, harboring and shielding illegal aliens, a felony under federal law. Governor Brown and the above named criminals are in violation of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 U.S. that clearly gives Congress lawful jurisdiction over immigration. Governor Brown and the above named politicians are in violation of California Constitution, Article 3, Section 1, which states that California is an inseparable part of the United States, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.”

    A more complete (and more accurate) transcript of the actual round table comments can be found at