In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom admitted he was wrong to report young immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when he was mayor of San Francisco.
As mayor, Newsom spearheaded a policy in San Francisco in 2008 which required law enforcement officers to report juvenile immigrants in the country illegally to ICE when charged with committing violent felony crimes.
Newsom, currently a frontrunner to succeed California Gov. Jerry Brown, said looking back, he could have done things differently.
“These were people charged … but not convicted. Some people ultimately were exonerated that got caught up in it,“ Newsom told The Bee. “I’ll just say this to my critics: Fair game. Looking back, there were things we could have done differently. I’m very honest about that.”
Newsom, who is vociferously critical of Trump, and has called him a 'disgrace" on Twitter because of his immigration policies, made these comments as the Trump administration’s policy to separate migrant families from children at the southern border comes under fire.
Newsom said his stance to report juveniles to ICE was a compromise to protect San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” ordinance which came under scrutiny when a San Francisco resident and his two sons were killed by an undocumented immigrant and MS-13 gang member from El Salvador.
“It was devastating and it exposed some gaps in our sanctuary policy,” Newsom said. “We were the poster child for the (sanctuary) policy. Then we had this tragic example where someone was in our custody … a MS-13 young person (and when he was) released, came back and shot three members of a family.”
Newsom’s chief opponent, Republican candidate John Cox, called Newsom a "flip-flopper” in a Facebook post.
“As usual Gavin Newsom wants it both ways. As San Francisco mayor, Newsom policy reported undocumented youth to ICE — he was for it before he was against it,” Cox said.