(CNSNews.com) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suing the state of California for its "sanctuary" immigration laws, and over the weekend, President Donald Trump urged Congress "to block funds for jurisdictions that shield dangerous criminals."
"Protecting the safety and well-being of American citizens is my highest duty as president," Trump said in his Saturday radio address. "Yet, lawless sanctuary jurisdictions are nullifying federal law, obstructing immigration enforcement, and releasing thousands of criminal aliens into U.S. communities to prey on innocent victims. It's absolutely terrible."
Trump cited several examples where cities and states have denied a request from immigration officials to turn over violent criminal aliens.
He also criticized the mayor of Oakland, Calif. for giving the public advance warning of an impending ICE raid, "allowing criminal aliens time to "scatter and hide from authorities. The mayor's conduct directly threatened the safety of federal immigration officers and the law-abiding Americans in her community," the president said.
Trump said the leaders of California are in "open defiance" of federal law, and "they don't care about the kind of things that you and I care about."
He also mentioned cases in New York and Denver, Colorado, where state and city authorities have refused to work with ICE:
Sanctuary jurisdictions are the best friend of smugglers, gang members, drug dealers, human traffickers, killers, and other violent offenders.
We want our cities to be sanctuaries for Americans, not safe havens for criminals. That is why I am calling on Congress to block funds for jurisdictions that shield dangerous criminals.
It is time to end the bloodshed brought about by reckless sanctuary policies - and it is time to save American lives and American cities.
'Build that wall!'
At a campaign rally near Pittsburgh on Saturday night, President Trump drew cries of "build that wall" when he criticized Democrats for their immigration leniency:
“So the Democrats are the party of sanctuary cities. Explain that one, right?" Trump told the crowd.
“They like to protect criminals. They like to protect MS-13." Trump talked about ICE agents "being tough as hell," as they grab gang members "by the neck."
"We're cleaning out," Trump promised.
“Build that wall, build that wall,” the crowd chanted, interrupting him.
"We are building the wall," Trump promised. "100 percent."