California's lieutenant governor slammed Donald Trump for turning Immigrations and Customs Enforcement into his "own personal army of hate" amid the president's visit Tuesday.
Trump's trip to California, which also includes a stop at border wall prototypes, comes at a highly contentious time between the state and administration over immigration policies.
In his bid for governor, the Democrat has run on a campaign countering many of Trump's policies. Trump has taken issue with California being a so-called "sanctuary state," which limits state and local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Newsom's campaign called Trump's proposed border wall "idiocy" in a narrated video, which also included a parody of Trump. "We cannot let this small, scared bully hurt our economy and turn ICE into his own personal army of hate," Newsom said in spot.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto scrapped an official visit to the White House after a hostile call with Trump last month, in which the American leader pushed his neighbor to pay for the border wall.
Trump has given ICE more freedom on who it can arrest and under what conditions. His first 100 days saw a 40 percent increase in immigration arrests. Many Democratic lawmakers have pushed back on increased raids.
Meanwhile on Monday, Acting Director Thomas Homan lashed out at Democratic lawmakers after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the agency's power was being used to "terrorize innocent families." Homan defended the agency and said they "don't arrest innocent people."
Earlier on Tuesday, James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE's San Francisco division, resigned, saying he could no longer continue in his role. Schwab cited misleading public statements by Trump administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, about a recent operation in Northern California. Schwab said he "didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts."
And just last week, the Trump administration sued California in an effort to halt a series of so-called "sanctuary state" bills, which Sessions labeled a "radical open borders agenda" that interferes with federal immigration policy.
More from Newsweek
- Trump’s Border Wall Hyped in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Video Ahead of Visit to Prototypes in San Diego
- Mexico Refuses to Be 'Treated Like a Doormat' Over Trump's Border Wall, Top Election Candidate Declares
- ICE Director Says Agency Doesn't 'Arrest Innocent People' Despite Surge in Noncriminal Arrests