President Trump on Wednesday said his administration “stands in solidarity” with a California county pushing back against the state’s policies offering ‘sanctuary’ to illegal immigrants.
Orange County has become the center of national attention after it announced a series of measures to push back against a controversial law that limits cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
On Tuesday the county's board of supervisors voted to join a lawsuit from the Department of Justice fighting policies that the administration says interfere with federal immigration policies. On Monday, the sheriff's department announced that it would be publishing the release dates of inmates as a way to improve cooperation with federal authorities.
On Wednesday, Trump announced that the administration stood “in solidarity” with what the county was doing.
“My Administration stands in solidarity with the brave citizens in Orange County defending their rights against California's illegal and unconstitutional Sanctuary policies,” he tweeted.
“California's Sanctuary laws...release known dangerous criminals into communities across the State,” he added. “All citizens have the right to be protected by Federal law and strong borders.”
Trump’s tweet comes amid an escalating war of words with the blue state on the subject of illegal immigration. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning illegal immigrants in advance about an ICE raid last month. Authorities blamed Schaaf for hundreds of illegal immigrants evading capture.
California Democrats also reacted furiously this week to plans by the administration to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census, a move that California lawmakers say could spook illegal immigrants from answering -- leading to blue states with high numbers of illegal immigrants being underfunded.
But Orange County, a rare Republican area amid a wave of blue, has been pushing back against the sanctuary law from within the state. Earlier this month Los Alamitos, a city within the county, also approved an ordinance to opt out of the law..
"This legislation prevents law enforcement from removing criminals from our community and is a threat to public safety," Supervisor Shawn Nelson said before the vote on Tuesday.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called on the sheriff to follow the law and refused to rule out taking action against sheriffs.
"State law is state law. It’s my job to enforce state law and I will do so. We want to make sure that every jurisdiction, including Orange County, understands what state law requires of the people and the subdivisions of the state of California," Becerra said at a news conference.
When asked if that meant an arrest or lawsuit against the sheriff, Becerra responded, "I think I just answered that.”
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.