SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – After state legislators moved forward with plans to make California a sanctuary state, President Donald Trump said he’s prepared to pull federal funding.
Last week, the state Senate passed a bill in the public safety committee that would prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials.
In an interview that aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Mr. Trump told Bill O’Reilly of Fox News that the plan was “ridiculous.”
“If we have to, we will defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California,” Trump said. “California is in many ways out of control, as you know. Obviously, the voters agree, otherwise, they wouldn’t have voted for me.”
“President Trump’s threat to weaponize federal funding is not only unconstitutional but emblematic of the cruelty he seeks to impose on our most vulnerable communities,” said State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León in a statement. “Taking such irresponsible action would hurt our senior citizens, children, farmers, and veterans – these are not political games, these are real lives the President is targeting.”
Trump said he doesn’t want to defund any cities or states, but he will. State Senator Scott Weiner, a member of the Public Safety Committee, calls that bullying.
“To cave into a bully and say, ‘Well, you’re saying you’re illegally going to take money away from us, so therefore we’re going to do what you want to do and turn in our immigrant neighbors,’ that’s not going to stop him,” Weiner (D-San Francisco) told KCBS.
The president’s comments come days after he suggested pulling federal funds from UC Berkeley after protests turned violent over the planned appearance of controversial conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.