(CN) – Golden State politicians and leaders struck back against their colleagues who attended a Wednesday roundtable hosted by President Donald Trump to discuss fighting California’s sanctuary state laws.
Trump met with more than a dozen California politicians and other leaders who support the Justice Department’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary state laws. The lawsuit claims California’s policies aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Senate Bill 54, or the California Values Act, prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration agents without a court order and creates safe zones around schools, courts and hospitals.
Last year, multiple cities throughout the state also voted to enact sanctuary city polices in their local jurisdictions.
But Trump’s Wednesday meeting of what he called a “rebellion by patriotic citizens who want their borders,” comes to a head in a super-majority Democratic state where some conservative localities have vowed not to comply with sanctuary state laws.
Some representatives from those regions were in attendance at Wednesday’s roundtable, including San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar – who is running to replace the retiring Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress – and Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar.
Across the country in Sacramento, California Gov. Jerry Brown took to Twitter to call out the president’s lies on immigration.
“Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed,” Brown wrote.
Top candidates vying to replace Brown in the November election, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and John Cox, one of the top Republican candidates in the race, also weighed in.
Newsom said the president was “cherry-picking a few right-wing electeds from a state of 39 million people. He then ticked off a list of facts about sanctuary jurisdictions including that they have lower crime rates, lower poverty and lower unemployment.
Cox said Trump is “absolutely right, the first role of government is to protect its people” and said Newsom and Brown “have failed miserably.”
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundations of California issued a statement saying “a small group of California officials” cared more about “serving the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda … than they do about serving their constituents.”
“The California Values Act is about fairness, equality, and keeping families together. Our communities are safer and stronger when they are whole. California is fully within its rights to limit the use of our local resources to fuel Trump’s deportation machine, which routinely flouts constitutional rights and tears families apart,” ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Policy attorney Maria Romani said.
Also Wednesday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced in the two days since his department’s law enforcement officers were sent to the southern border, more than a dozen arrests have been made.
Zinke deployed 22 officers this week to Interior-managed borderlands between Arizona and Texas. In just two days, officers arrested 13 people suspected of crossing the border without documentation and confiscated an illegal handgun, according to the Interior Department. Evidence of recent smuggling activity was also found, Zinke said.