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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 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 SessionsDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Donald Trump’s Rosenstein dilemma White House proposes executive order to Trump that would examine tech companies’ practices 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 DeVosColleges, universities seeing rise in sexual assault claims, lawsuits Support for educational choice continues to grow Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE and White House adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Conway to CNN's Cuomo in heated debate: 'I'll walk away' if you continue to interrupt me On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE

- Updated at 1:42 p.m.