FRESNO, California - During a discussion on school safety Thursday, Pres. Donald Trump threatened to remove all U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in California. The threat was made after criticizing the state's sanctuary cities.
While it's unclear how serious he is, both Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer worry of losing what they call a valuable public safety resource.
On immigration enforcement, Trump said California was doing a "lousy management job." Also saying California would become a "crime nest" if ICE agents were removed.
"In two months, [California would] be begging for us to come back. They would be begging," said Trump.
In Aug. 2017, Mims said the county jail had 90 undocumented inmates. Their crimes included rape, homicide, child molestation, and other violent crimes.
ICE agents have been allowed in the jail since 2015 to help prevent violent immigrant criminals from falling through the cracks, according to Mims.
Mims said the Central Valley shouldn't be penalized for decisions made in other counties, or at the state level.
"If they want to leave those counties, put the resources in Fresno County. I say they're more than welcome to do that," she said.
We saw Dyer's reaction first-hand. He worries without ICE, local agencies like Fresno Police would have to pick up the slack and deal with immigrant criminals that ICE would normally take care of.
"I don't think law enforcement should be the ones punished because of decisions that are being made by elected officials in certain jurisdictions, or at the state level," said Dyer.
Dyer adds Fresno Police doesn't really work with ICE, unless it's on something like a criminal investigation.