Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims went on national TV and criticized California laws that protect illegal immigrants.
Mims appeared Wednesday evening on the FOX Business Network and said she hopes the White House administration’s lawsuit against California will help eliminate the state’s so-called sanctuary laws.
“The Fresno County Sheriff's (OFFICE) adamantly opposes California becoming a sanctuary state,” Mims said during her interview. “We knew that this was not going to be good for the public that we are sworn to keep safe.
“I welcome (the lawsuit) because maybe it’ll add some clarity to some of the really controversial and confusing laws.”
Mims reiterated her belief that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement helps keep the public safe — despite public outcry from some in the local community who believe families are unnecessarily being broken up after ICE agents pick up an undocumented person for deportation.
California laws do not prevent ICE agents from conducting their own searches in the state. But the sanctuary laws do prohibit California police officers and sheriff’s deputies from cooperating with ICE agents in cases where undocumented immigrants are in jail for minor crimes — unless they are presented with a federal warrant or criminal removal order.
“Having to comply with state law, and then having to deal with the federal government (that’s) trying to work with us to help keep our communities safe,” Mims said, “it puts us in an untenable position that we need clarity on.
“Because we cannot talk to ICE about certain people in our jails, they are free to go out and re-commit crimes. We’re creating additional victims.”
Mims was among group of law enforcement officials who attended a closed meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday after his clashing with Gov. Jeff Brown.
“We need to stop vilifying our hard working ICE agents and our federal law enforcement partners,” Mims said. “Law enforcement has to enforce the laws. Teachers have to teach. Preachers have to preach.
“And we’re not going to apologize – any of us – for doing our job.”