Barstow Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre participated in a "sanctuary state" roundtable with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday, along with other elected officials who say they're "fighting back" against California's recent immigration policies.
Trump on Wednesday met with local California leaders who oppose the state's refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. "You've gone through a lot, too, although it's becoming quite popular what you're doing".
"The state of California's attempts to nullify federal law have sparked a rebellion by patriotic citizens who want their families protected and their borders secured", Trump said.
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. "The Democrats gave us that law".
The officials represented counties and cities that have taken stances against the law, some by joining or filing briefs in support of a Trump administration lawsuit challenging it.
The White House described it as a gathering of "public officials who oppose California's illegal and unconstitutional sanctuary policies that release criminal illegal aliens into public communities".
"She informed them and they all fled-or majority fled-and that whole operation took a long time to put together", Trump said.
"I think it is heartless".
In addition to being a sanctuary state, California has more than 500 sanctuary cities, including Oakland and San Francisco.
"We need help Mr. President", San Jacinto Mayor Crystal Ruiz said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown responded to the meeting and Trump's remarks on Twitter, writing that Trump "is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA".
"You talk about an obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland California, Jeff", he said. The Department of Justice had said in the wake of the raid that it was investigating.
Last month Trump threatened to shut down the federal government in September if Congress did not provide more funding for his wall.
Since the sanctuary state law, officially known as California Values Act, went into effect early this year, he said the Los Angeles Police Department arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico on drug possession charges but did not honor the ICE detainer and set him free.
The gun law decision split the court's conservatives and liberals in 1997, in keeping with conservatives' complaints about the federal government's overreach and the importance of states' rights.