During his interview with President Trump, aired during the Super Bowl pregame show, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked the president how he would respond if California lawmakers turn the entire state into a sanctuary for those living in the U.S. illegally.
As has been the case with everything from U.S. corporations to foreign governments, Trump said, in effect, it’s going to cost California a whole lot of money if it happens:
“I think it’s ridiculous — sanctuary cities. As you know I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime. There’s a lot of problems.
If we have to we’ll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control. Obviously the voters agree. Otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for me.”
As reported by Fox News, California Senate Democrats voted last week to not only become the nation’s first “sanctuary state,” but to also provide funding for lawyers to defend people facing deportation.Image Credit: Mark Ralston/Getty Images
The author of the legislation, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León of Los Angeles, suggested that law enforcement officers should be clear about their priorities:
“We want to make sure that police officers don’t abandon their beat and go enforce immigration laws.”
O’Reilly asked Trump if defunding is his “weapon of choice,” and while Trump emphasized that he “doesn’t want to defund anybody,” he agreed that “it is a weapon.”
Proponents of “sanctuary cities” argue that those living in the U.S. illegally are more inclined to cooperate with authorities in search of criminals if they’re not in fear of deportation.
Republican Sen. Jeff Stone argues the opposite:
“I think this bill is making it that much more difficult for the federal authorities to get the most dangerous criminals that we want to deport to keep our communities safe.”
Multiple examples support Stone’s argument.
In perhaps the most famous of examples, Kate Steinle was murdered in the “sanctuary” of San Francisco in 2015 by a man who had entered the U.S. illegally and had been convicted of a crime seven times, and deported five times.
According to a 2015 Rasmussen poll, not only do a majority of Americans oppose “sanctuary cities,” they also believe that the Department of Justice should take action against them.