California a 'crime nest' without ICE agents, Trump muses

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US President Donald Trump threatened to pull immigration and other federal law enforcement agents from California on Thursday, a warning shot to the country's richest and most populous state.

According to officials, 60 of the arrestees had reentered the United States after previously being deported - a felony that could carry a sentence up to 20 years in federal prison based on the undocumented person's criminality; 20 had no prior immigration history or encounters, one has pending criminal charges.

"We're getting no help from the state of California", Trump said during a listening session at the White House on school safety and gun violence.

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"This Administration has continually put a target on California's back and we won't be bullied", Sen.

"California better hold on tight", he told Fox News last month.

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Trump's comments were part of a broader swipe against heavily Democratic California, which gave Hillary Clinton a resounding victory in the 2016 presidential race.

The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have been stepping up their fight against cities and states that limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said the state does cooperate with immigration agents - but not for mass deportations. "The president's attacks are not only mean-spirited, they're patently false". "And they don't know what's happening out there", Trump said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested 145 people, described by the agency as "criminal aliens and immigration violators", in a week-long operation in South and Central Texas that ended on Friday, Feb. 16.

The president said the whole situation is "a disgrace", adding that California willfully protects "horrible criminals" by refusing to cooperate with ICE in many situations. He issued a brief statement saying the state works with federal law enforcement daily and its efforts are geared toward stopping drug dealers, sex traffickers and other public safety threats.