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Gavin Newsom says Trump proposal to release immigrants into sanctuary cities is "asinine"

Newsom responds to Trump's immigration plan
California governor calls Trump's "sanctuary cities" plan "illegal" 02:37

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tore into President Trump's proposal to send detained undocumented immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions on Friday, declaring the idea "unserious," "illegal," "asinine" and "sophomoric," among other things. 

Mr. Trump singled California on Friday, when he declared he is seriously considering releasing undocumented immigrants into sanctuary jurisdictions. The president claimed he could release an "unlimited supply" of undocumented immigrants into Newsom's state. California law offers safe harbor for undocumented immigrants who might otherwise be deported by federal immigration authorities. 

In an interview with CBS News Friday, Newsom blasted Mr. Trump's proposal as unserious and illegal. 

"It's ludicrous. It's petulant. I have a 7-year-old, he would be embarrassed," Newsom said. "It really is the sophistry of adolescence. It's not serious. It lacks any rationale. It's insulting to the American people and to the intelligence of the American people. It's un-American. It's illegal. It's immoral. It's rather pathetic. I don't know what more I can say." 

Newsom also labeled the president's statements "political theater" and a "sideshow" that is "demoralizing" but also "par for the course." 

"To use immigrants as pawns — to put them in difficult and trying circumstances as political theater shows how low a human being can go. And this human being happens to be sadly and tragically the president of the United States," Newsom added.

The president's announcement took many by surprise Friday. After The Washington Post reported that the idea was under discussion, a senior White House official told CBS News on Friday that the Trump administration had "floated" and then rejected the plan. 

Mr. Trump then contradicted that official, tweeting that his administration would be giving "strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities," and blaming congressional Democrats for not tightening immigration laws. Asked about the idea during a Friday event at the White House, the president reiterated he's looking into it. 

"We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it to be honest with you," Mr. Trump said, adding later the federal government could give California an "unlimited supply" of immigrants in the country illegally. 

"If they don't agree we might as well do what they say they want...we'll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it," the president also said Friday.

Arden Farhi contributed to this report 

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