(KGTV) - Two prominent San Diego County leaders are in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to meet with President Trump about California’s sanctuary state laws.
County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and Escondido Mayor Sam Abed are among the 16 California leaders who visited the White House to discuss California’s role in the national immigration landscape with the president.
In April, both Abed’s city and the County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of supporting the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over its sanctuary policies.
"Each of you has bravely resisted California's deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state laws," Trump told the group gathered in Washington, D.C.
During the Wednesday round table, Trump thanked the leaders, saying they had “bravely resisted California’s deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state laws.
Trump claimed those laws are forcing "the release of illegal immigrant criminals, drug dealers, gang members and violent predators into your communities" and providing "safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on earth."
Trump also said during the meeting that opposition to the sanctuary state laws are growing, adding that "There's a revolution going on in California."
Gaspar told the president, "If you look around this room; your tiny but might team; this is what Gov. Brown classifies as low-life politicians. Well, here we are."
Abed said, "We are with you. We need to build that wall; we need to end the sanctuary state."
"The fact that we have this unsecured border is putting all of us at risk because we know that terrorists are coming in," San Juan Capistrano City Councilwoman Pam Patterson said.
Governor Jerry Brown responded on twitter saying Trump is “lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA.”
🤥 @realDonaldTrump is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA. 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.
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) May 16, 2018
Watch the meeting in the player below:
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Gaspar also took to Twitter after the meeting, saying it was an "incredible moment" to speak with the President.
Incredible moment being able to speak directly to the President of the United States, the Attorney General & Homeland Security Secretary about the devastating impact sanctuary state laws are having on CA & the safety of our residents. I will not back down & I will keep fighting! pic.twitter.com/0ky4Oi8eIN
— Kristin Gaspar (@KristinDGaspar) May 16, 2018
Prior to his trip to Washington, Abed said he was eager to meet with federal officials. He has previously said criminals are benefiting from sanctuary laws.
“Escondido has had a success story in coordinating with ICE and deporting illegal criminals from our community, and I’m looking forward to sharing our success story and policies with the president and Washington,” said Abed.
State sanctuary laws forbid local governments to alert immigration officials when illegals are taken into custody.
A federal lawsuit is challenging that, with Gaspar and Abed among the California conservatives strongly supporting the suit.
The San Diego City Council, for its part, has appeared to agree with the ACLU’s statement that people are less likely to report crimes when victims and witnesses fear they may be deported if they contact local authorities.
- Board of Supervisors votes to support sanctuary state lawsuit against California
- Escondido City Council votes to support sanctuary policy lawsuit
- Report: Children could be separated from parents if families caught crossing border illegally
Trump has made border security one of his highest priorities, with San Diego a focal point and his border wall prototypes a visible sign of that.
The ACLU Foundations of California issued a statement following the meeting between Trump and the California leaders:
“By meeting with President Trump today, a small group of California officials have made their views clear: They care more about serving the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, and aligning with designated hate groups like FAIR, than they do about serving their constituents. The federal government has a divisive and hateful agenda – but here in California, we stick together and we stand up for each other. Immigrants are a vital part of California’s heart and soul. They are our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, and members of our families. 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. Here in California, we treat our people fairly, no matter their background or where they were born.”
The following California state leaders attended the meeting Wednesday:
-- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield
-- Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore
-- Councilwoman Pam Patterson, of San Juan Capistrano
-- Mayor Troy Edgar, city of Los Alamitos
-- Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, Barstow
-- Mayor Natasha Johnson, Lake Elsinore
-- Mayor Elaine Gennawey, Laguna Niguel
-- Mayor Crystal Ruiz, San Jacinto
-- Mayor Sam Abed, Escondido
-- Mayor Pro Tem Warren Kusumoto, Los Alamitos
-- Sheriff Adam Christianson, Stanislaus County
-- Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County
-- Supervisor Michelle Steel, Orange County
-- Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, San Diego County
-- Deputy Sheriff Ray Grangoff, Orange County
-- District Attorney Stacey Montgomery, Lassen County