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

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy 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 DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosTrump aides pushed for states' ability to block migrant kids from enrolling in public schools: report Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid Buttigieg to Detroit audience: Don't judge Indiana by Pence and we won't judge Michigan by DeVos MORE and White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Florida first lady to miss Women for Trump event due to planned execution Trump adopts familiar mantra on possible recession: fake news MORE

- Updated at 1:42 p.m.