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California sheriff slams 'spectacular failures' of his state's immigration policies

People protest outside a speech by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 7 in Sacramento, California. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said California's sanctuary law causes "spectacular failures" and makes the streets more dangerous. (Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images)

As tensions between federal immigration agents and local authorities escalate over California’s sanctuary law, one sheriff harshly criticized his state’s approach to illegal immigration during a White House meeting Tuesday, KOVR-TV reports.

What happened?

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones spoke at an immigration enforcement forum at the White House, also attended by President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan.

Here’s what Jones said:

  • Jones called California “ground zero for the sanctuary state.”
  • He said his deputies don’t perform immigration enforcement, as he would prefer that be left to ICE.
  • Jones said California sanctuary law allows more dangerous criminals on the streets, and that the law does not work.
  • “There are spectacular failures every single day around California, and I’m sure beyond, of folks that ICE wants as part of their priority,” Jones said.
  • Jones said the murder of Sacramento deputy Danny Oliver at the hand of illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes “started my personal journey and passion toward immigration enforcement.”

California law prevents law enforcement from sharing certain information about people with federal immigration agents, making it more difficult for ICE to operate.

The mayor refuses to respond

Asked about the scathing comments from Jones, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg didn’t have much to say.

“When a politician grandstands in such a way, it’s not worth dignifying with a comment,” Steinberg said.

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