Opinion Piece by AG Becerra: Message to Trump: California isn’t in the deportation business

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

By Xavier Becerra

The Washington Post Opinions.

Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, is the attorney general of California.

The Trump administration and California can agree on this point: Public safety must be a top priority. But in California, we believe our communities are safest when we have trust between our law enforcement and the communities they serve.

We need the public, including immigrants, to be our eyes and ears — to report when they witness a crime or are victims themselves. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is trying to puncture that trust by taking us to court.

Just ahead of visiting California for the first time as president Tuesday, President Trump tweeted misleading claims about California’s public-safety policies, suggesting that our state laws put people at risk. In fact, our laws are in place to protect our families and strengthen public safety.

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit against the state of California, challenging three of our state laws under the pretense that these laws interfere with federal immigration authorities and harm public safety. This action reflects a misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution, our state laws and the American ethos on a fundamental level.

California laws and policies do not provide “sanctuary” for criminals. We aggressively go after criminals, regardless of their immigration status. And we work regularly in tandem with our federal partners to assist in, for example, combating gangs, human trafficking and the peddling of drugs.

What we do not do, though, is the job of federal immigration agents. We’re in the business of public safety, not deportation.

The opinion piece can be found here.

# # #