Trump hails 'rebellion' by local California lawmakers against state's 'sanctuary' laws

US President Donald Trump. Credit Flickr

President Donald Trump met on Wednesday with leaders from the state of California who oppose the state's sanctuary city laws.

The president then listened as each of the officials attending the meeting praised the work his administration is doing to address illegal immigration and discussed their municipalities' efforts to challenge the sanctuary state law.

"I mean, you talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff", Trump said to Sessions who didn't respond. There's no place in the world that has laws like we do, " the president said during a one-hour roundtable.

"California's law provides safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on Earth, like MS-13 gang members putting innocent men, women and children at the mercy of sadistic criminals", Trump said. "Just a few weeks later, he was arrested again, this time for murder". Another person in the room who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to describe a private discussion said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered that message. It is black-letter law that a locality can not enact an ordinance that conflicts with state law - let alone one that, on its face, authorizes local officials to violate state law.

"When we joined the amicus brief, it was because we - myself and our council members - recognized that federal law reigns over immigration, not the state", Hackbarth-McIntyre said. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) from the left, fired back. "The families you're tearing apart are people, just like you".

De Leon accused Trump of hosting the California officials, most of whom are Republicans, because "he's terrified Republicans will lose control of Congress".

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Trump also said the United States has the "the dumbest laws on immigration in the world".

"California's Sanctuary laws...release known unsafe criminals into communities across the State", he added.

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council broke with the county and voted to support California's sanctuary laws.

Trump signed an executive order in January 2017 that denies federal money to sanctuary cities and directs the attorney general to take legal action against them, including the possibility of removing legal protection from undocumented immigrants. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been a staunch supporter of sanctuary laws and in March warned the immigrant community ahead of a large-scale operation by federal immigration authorities.

In lawsuits challenging the administration, cities argue that turning local police authorities into immigration officers erodes trust with minority communities and discourages residents from reporting crime.

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