San Jose mayor responds to Pres. Trump's sanctuary cities remarks

Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, California, spoke out against Trump's comments, tweeting that his city welcomes any families wanting "to be a part of our great country."
8:40 | 04/12/19

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Transcript for San Jose mayor responds to Pres. Trump's sanctuary cities remarks
The president just a short time ago seine he is still considering a plan that would take detained immigrants at the border. And shipped them to the interior of the country's at in a move to get back at his democratic opponents Nicholas. Will bring. The illegal. Really cool illegals like Colin illegals they neighborhood's border illegally you will ring that was due Sanctuary City areas. And let that particular. Area take care where hundreds of state or whatever might be California certainly is always say don't we walk what people. And they want more people this Sanctuary Cities well we'll give them more people we can give a lot we can give them an unlimited supply. And let's keep this a happy days it we have opened our hero is a program he would they have open arms. The alternative is. Judicial us that we could very very quickly very easily kept. In Jordan Phelps you don't reporting on this when this first broke last night that this had been considered. And the next line with that it had been knocked down and that the legal forces and said administration to turn the president away from this bird he seems to be back in recent months. That's exactly right tap and at the White House statement initially was this was and I get it was floated and immediately shut down. No further discussion. A president trump had something different to say today I need says he is under active consideration this appears to be just the latest in a string of unorthodox. Solution that the president bringing to his. Great frustration their father or if he said he wanted to go tougher this seems like one of these strategies he's 12 give attract. It's mean this is context of that what you chenille some was up against and and the house clean we've seen it this year pressing him on that you sit up on this and and other potentially you know illegal schemes it is unprecedented and as Jordan points out it is illegal in. I think for people that are watching this today is all certainly not gonna happen and did this is the president using as he does he was never he was showing on the border a couple of weeks ago. He says these things. I he gets a rise out of people and end the chips fall somewhere else and it is and actually gonna happen but it is startling to have the White House say no we were never thinking about that the president to say you know what I think that's a look but I guess I'm. Part of this is the so called strategy. From what you've been here from White House officials has been to strike back at two. It serves two purposes in the administration want to do something about all those detained immigrants they are simply running out of space. I down at the border seduced to ship them elsewhere but also the strike back at the so called. I Sanctuary Cities which if you haven't heard the term those are cities. I did have tried to limit their cooperation with federal immigration of it enforcement authorities to protect. Low priority immigrants in those places one of those cities. Hot is San Jose California the mayor of San Jose California joins us now on the phone Sam Ricardo mr. mayor thank you so much want to get your reaction to the president's. Strategy that he now seems to be embracing would you take these immigrants and what do you have to say to him. Well good afternoon. Will person candidate Silicon Valley he happily welcome any family. There are willing to hear such extraordinary hardship but experts tumors ripped. To be part of our great country. And I did candidate Silicon Valley. Immigration is its secret source of our success. 40% over who ordered a foreign country we have the highest per capita income of their leader metro area in the nation. The little those on the crime rates. We saw right on immigration here's some undertake this is a threat but of course this is really not a solution religious filling up. And we need real solutions include comprehensive immigration report. You know the national debate mr. mayor that's been playing out on this and the president has been leaning into over this he's been claiming a threat. From these immigrants from undocumented immigrants there's been debate in your community about our recent. Death of the San Jose woman allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant do you. How do you wrestle with this issue of of being a Sanctuary City and the threats and dangers that this White House seems to be playing out. Well first. It's important that we distinguish between rhetoric criminals. An immigrant in the garden route. Point 9% of people were coming here or work in art ratings certainly aren't violent criminals and we should treat acute different. And part of the copilot that the stated that folks on the extremes of both the run in the last few allotted treat it went singing. You're still regard to what happened here look how he addressed. Who was under criminal. We're gonna continue to be welcoming community. All right mayor. Mayor Sam what Carlo of San Jose California responding to the president's. Threat out toward century city's mr. mayor thank you so much. Rick and I mean it's not just California cities its northeast cities and the president clearly wants make this into a campaign strategy. In places were Democrats may be vulnerable. And highlight what he is a real policy disagreement here in any Sanctuary Cities are are often willfully violating federal law or at least the federal guidance around that law. And saying no we don't care what the federal law says we want to treat this differently it's a policy disagreement and maybe that's federalism maybe that's how it's supposed to work. It seems that the president's trying to test that issue but this is the kind of thing that you can imagine a kind of you know the right wing pundit to say hey you know you wanna so bad go take them. Well let me that's a good idea the president now embraces that it it can't be seen as serious policy but it is a threat and as he said at the end of even the remarks today. Maybe get to a policy solution as a result of this if you're able to increase the pressure on people like Nancy Pelosi. Who represents separate Disco another set another Sanctuary City then maybe you get a policy solution they're not to. Users and may be Ryland up the base but the big question of course is is it legal so many of the president's initiatives on this front have been blocked by the court so far want to bring in. I ABC news contributor and former DHS official Jon Cohen who joins us by phone John. What was your reaction to first hearing about this plan last night when it first broke. Andy is there any chance that something like this could be legal even if only to alleviate. The masses of immigrants are at the border that they're struggling with housing. Yeah I guess. So look at that if the administration had a comprehensive and serious plan on how they were in Indio where. The individuals who are presenting and so that the border legally Seeking Asylum. And that included. Providing temporary housing transporting them to cities across the country and providing temporary housing. While there asylum claims were adjudicate it. That would be one thing but based on the president's own tweets that's not the purpose here. The purpose is to use US fleet law enforcement resource does so that the administration can extract revenge. Or punish. The present political adversaries. And that's just simply an abuse of authority and it's not something that the serious law enforcement officials would consider doing. And that's why I pushed back on that I can crack a little bit of the conversation that was going on earlier. About Sanctuary Cities because. The administration has been very calm that has been very grass stepped. Didn't quite frankly mr. characterizing. What a Sanctuary City it first it's important to remember that state local authorities. I do not have the legal authority to. Enforce our nation's immigration law that is our that is exclusively a federal responsibility. State local authorities do have a responsibility to protect people living in their communities from crime. And in order to protect. Their communities from crime they need people to talk about and so these major cities have set that in order for us to carry out our primary responsibility. We are gonna be emphasized. The role of local police again. Check yet been out in people their citizenship status and that they are going to work with immigration authorities to go after violent criminals. Because from the standpoint of a local police department or a local said he. If they women have been victim of domestic violence if she'd been assaulted command and robbed but they're not gonna call the local police because. They're scared that their citizenship is going to be questions. Then the entire city suffers so these so called Sanctuary Cities which really isn't even a term as defined in the law are simply said he. That make it a priority to a drought there local book about their local law enforcement issues. They will help ice and immigration authorities when they're dealing with criminal aliens but they have said that in order for us to achieve our priorities. We are not going to emphasize immigration enforcement which again if they exclusively a federal responsibility. And certainly that position has made a convenient foil for the president as he begins his story twenty campaign Jacqueline thanks so much. For that perspective and important hour clarification on one of the century city here as well continues and the story in Jordan you'll be doing more were reported in how they plan to proceed on this summer at the White House.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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