Trump: 'I'm thinking about' pulling ICE out of California

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE said Thursday that he is thinking of pulling federal immigration enforcement officers from California over the state's sanctuary policies.

"Frankly it's a disgrace, the sanctuary city situation," Trump said at a White House meeting on school safety.

Opponents of the administration have been critical of the actions of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the law enforcement agency responsible for interior immigration enforcement, and its operations in California since the state declared itself a "sanctuary" jurisdiction. 
ADVERTISEMENT


Trump said California is uncooperative with federal law enforcement, particularly when it comes to dealing with gang crime.

If federal agencies were to "pull out" of the state, Trump said, "you would have a crime mess like you've never seen in California.

"If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, 'hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,' in two months they'd be begging for us to come back, they would be begging. And you know what, I'm thinking about doing it," he added.

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan in January warned California should "hold on tight" for more ICE operations in the state. 

But on Wednesday, Homan said the agency doesn't conduct raids, but rather "targeted enforcement operations."

"We don't go into neighborhoods, knock on a bunch of doors looking for people different than us. Every person we arrest, we know exactly who we're going to arrest, we know exactly where we're going to arrest them," Homan said on Fox News.

Trump also complimented Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE, a frequent target of Trump's criticism over his recusal on the Russia investigation, on his handling of gang violence. 

"You're doing a great job on the gangs," said Trump.

Also present at the meeting were Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosJury finds Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty on four counts Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book Republicans look to education as winning issue after Virginia successes MORE and White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayPennsylvania Republican David McCormick launches Senate campaign McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Christie says Trump, Meadows should have warned him of positive COVID-19 test MORE

- Updated at 1:42 p.m.