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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet 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. 
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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 SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign 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 DeVosStudents at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools MORE and White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom MORE

- Updated at 1:42 p.m.