"And you know what, I'm thinking about doing it". "They're doing a lousy management job, they have the highest taxes in the nation and they don't know what's happening out there".
"Frankly it's a disgrace, the sanctuary city situation", he said, warning that without ICE and the Border Patrol, California "would see crime like no one's ever seen".
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a blunt rejoinder: "In California, we protect all of our people from criminals and gangs, as well as risky assault weapons". It's an essential part of Trump's efforts to crack down on cities and states that refuse to help enforce US immigration laws.
Almost one quarter, or more than 2 million, of the country's estimated illegal alien population live in California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
The Senate rejected three separate proposals earlier this month aimed at resolving the young immigrants' fate, after Trump declared he would veto any measure that did not directly address his immigration priorities.
After passing legislation addressing the matter, California entered 2018 as an official sanctuary state refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials - such as those from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - in most cases.More news: Heavy drinking biggest risk factor for dementia: Lancet
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The San Ysidro border crossing is the busiest land port of entry in the entire Western Hemisphere, let alone the United States, and the California border is a major focus of preventing drug smuggling into the US.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan assured California law enforcement officials in January during an interview on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" that "ICE has your six" and "will never turn our back on law enforcement".
The Justice Department has threatened to deny millions of dollars in federal grant money to communities that refuse to comply with a statute requiring information-sharing with federal law enforcement.
"We don't go into neighborhoods knocking on a bunch of doors looking for people different than us", he said.
ICE did not respond to a request for comment.