The top law enforcement officer in California stated that his state is prepared to fight the Trump administration about the funding threats against so-called sanctuary cities.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra reacted in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday to the warnings Trump and his administration has given to sanctuary cities that they may reduce their funding. In sanctuary cities, the local police forces’ collaboration with the federal immigration authorities are quite limited.
Becerra contrasted the role of the federal government with California’s law enforcement agencies.
“We fully respect that they have the responsibility to enforce immigration law,” said Bacerra for ABC News Chief host George Stephanopoulos. “We are in the business of public safety. We’re not in the business of deportation.”
He noted that California complies to the federal laws on immigration and asserted that the U.S. government cannot order state or local jurisdictions to alter their approach to public safety.
“We’re going to continue to abide by federal law and the U.S. Constitution,” he said. “And we’re hoping the federal government will also abide by the U.S. Constitution, which gives my state the right to decide how to do public safety.”
President Trump’s administration on Friday sent letters to officials in California and major cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, alarming them that they may lose coveted law-enforcement grant money unless they decide to collaborate with federal immigration officials.
Stephanopoulos asked Becerra concerning Sessions’ remarks in an earlier “This Week” interview Sunday. “You heard him. He’s saying, especially in California, you’re not fulfilling that duty” of cooperation, remarked Stephanopoulos.
“We can prove anywhere we need to … that we are protecting our people,” Becerra responded. “And we’re doing it by keeping families together, not separating them.”
Stephanopoulos then asked the attorney general about the apparently confusing messages from Trump’s cabinet on the status of DREAMers, unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as small children and who are currently protected from deportation by executive orders enforced by former President Obama.
President Trump on Friday said DREAMers should “rest easy,” but Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on “This Week” that they, like all unauthorized immigrants, are susceptible to being deported or repatriated.
“It’s not clear what we can trust, what statement we can believe in” regarding DREAMers, Becerra said. “And that causes a great deal of not just anxiety, but confusion, not just for those immigrant families, but for our law enforcement personnel.”
“I’ve been trying to reach out to Attorney General Sessions and to [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Kelly, to get a sense of really what is their policy when it comes to the DREAMers,” the California attorney general said. “We’d like to know, is it in fact a policy of this president and this administration and this Attorney General Sessions to abide by the … policy that allows DREAMers to continue to go to school, to go to work, to believe that they’re not going to be out there and be apprehended by [immigration] agents simply because they look like people who weren’t born here?”
Like our Facebook page
That’s one small click for You, one giant leap for us.