Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones traveled to the White House Tuesday and told President Donald Trump that California is full of "spectacular failures" where dangerous criminal immigrants are released from jail every single day. The visit came amid increased tension between the administration and California municipalities on sanctuary city policies.
Jones joined a group of local law enforcement officials, lawmakers and administration officials for a roundtable discussion with Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Director Thomas Homan as they clamp down on sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
"There are spectacular failures every single day around California, and I’m sure beyond, of folks that ICE wants as part of their priority, criminals, that are going to go out and at a known recidivism rate and victimize other folks that we’re unable to capture, apprehend and keep detained for deportation," Scott told Trump.
Earlier this month, the Sessions traveled to California to announce that theTrump administration was filing suit challenging a new state law that restricts how and when state law enforcement can interact with federal immigration authorities.
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The administration took another shot at sanctuary cities Tuesday, like those in California, describing them as "radical" policies that "rupture" critical ties between local and federal law enforcement.
"What is happening today is a knife in the heart of the partnerships and cooperative relationships between our state and local officers and Tom’s people out on the street placing their lives in greater danger," Sessions.
Several of the lawmakers present, including Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tx, Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Mark Meadows, R-Fl., took direct and indirect swipes at California for passing state laws that attempt to protect those here illegally.
Rep. Martha McSally, R-Az., accused California officials supporting sanctuary cities of "thumbing their nose at law and order. She said the impacts of those policies far beyond just California.
"We might need to build a wall between California and Arizona as well to keep out these dangerous criminals out of our state,” McSally said, getting a chuckle from the group. “Seriously, they can’t just provide sanctuary for these criminals and think it’s only impacting California. It affects the rest of us."
Scott told Trump he was at "ground zero" in the battle over sanctuary cities in California where new state laws make it harder for law enforcement officers to work with federal officers to keep their communities safe.
He also highlighted the slaying of his Deputy Danny Oliver who was killed by an undocumented immigrant. The case has become a prominent symbol used by Trump and others in the fight over immigration.
"He had been removed four times, deported twice, before he was allowed to come back and commit these crimes,” Scott said. “So that really started my personal jury and passion toward immigration enforcement."