In this Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia. . (AP Photo/Matt Rourke File)

Politics & Government
By Sean Cockerham
scockerham@mcclatchydc.com
February 5, 2017 – 5:17 PM

Washington —

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from “out of control” California if the state declares itself a sanctuary state.

“If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”

Trump was responding to a question from O’Reilly about efforts by Democratic state legislators to make California a de-facto “sanctuary state” that would restrict state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources to aid federal authorities in immigration enforcement.

“I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,” Trump said.

Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco are sanctuary cities and have said they will will challenge in court any attempt by Trump to withhold federal funds from them. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he doubted the 10th amendment to the Constitution, which reserves power to the states, would allow Trump to defund.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has said he would “join, if not lead, any effort to fight (the sanctuary city threat) with litigation.”

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