South Bay leaders react to President Trump's proposal to drop off detainees in sanctuary cities

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- South Bay elected officials swiftly reacted Friday afternoon to President Trump confirming via a tweet that his administration is considering releasing undocumented immigrants (detained at the southern border) in so-called sanctuary cities.

"I'd prefer if we had a president that was focused on solutions to our immigration challenges rather than silliness," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "A solution does not include scaring parts of our community, does not include dividing families at the border, does not include punishing political opponents with retributions and threats."

RELATED: Trump weighs sending 'illegal immigrants' to sanctuary cities

Many constitutional law experts believe the action would likely be found illegal by the court system.

"The idea of using federal enforcement apparatuses to get after your political opponents or people who don't agree with you, that's the stuff of authoritarian regimes. It's not the stuff of a constitutional republic like the United States," said Santa Clara University law professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram.

President Trump's announcement came as Santa Clara County explores changes to its own sanctuary policy, following the murder of Bambi Larson, who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant.

Supervisor Dave Cortese says if the president chooses to send detainees here, then the federal government will need to prepare to pick up the costs to support them.

"We're not going to let the federal government mandate things that we're not refunded for, that takes money out of the pockets of taxpayers here in Santa Clara County," said Cortese.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez believes the president is using the community as pawns in a political game.

"Having somebody so willing to try and tear our communities apart is a danger not only to the social fabric of our community, but to the economic fabric of our community," said Chavez.

RELATED: Trump confirms mulling plan to release immigrants in sanctuary cities

Local officials reiterated their support for immigrants and says both the city and country will remain committed to welcoming them with open arms.

"We have room in this country for those who want to be a part of this country, who go through such extraordinary sacrifice and through such incredible hardship to get to this country, we should be able to find a way to make room for everyone," said Liccardo.
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