Trump ICE pick: Politicians who run sanctuary cities should be charged with crimes

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Protesters topple Confederate monument on UNC campus Man wanted for threatening to shoot Trump spotted in Maryland MORE's pick to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Tuesday called for a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities, saying politicians who help run them should be charged with crimes.

In an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto, ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said the Department of Justice needs "to file charges against the sanctuary cities" and "hold back their funding."

Homan, who was announced in December as President Trump's pick to permanently run the agency, went on to say that politicians enforcing sanctuary city policies need 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.

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His comments came during a discussion about California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), a staunch defender of protections for undocumented immigrants who in October signed a bill declaring California a sanctuary state.

Sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, have increasingly come under fire since Trump took office in January.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump indicates he's leaning against Mueller sit-down Trump rattled by White House counsel's cooperation with Mueller: report Falwell Jr. killed student newspaper articles critical of Trump: report MORE has repeatedly called for tougher measures for sanctuary cities, including the withholding of federal grants for them.

Trump made the issue central to his campaign in 2016, arguing that sanctuary city policies prevent law enforcement from keeping Americans safe.