Several of the lawmakers present, including Republicans House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Supervisor Kristin Gaspar of San Diego County - who is vying to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress - took digs at California Gov.
Early on in the meeting, he also suggested to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was sitting nearby, that he "look into obstruction of justice" charges against Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Trump's remarks came as the local officials invited for the event took turns praising his immigration policies and lamenting California's law, arguing it was making it more hard for their communities to find and deport risky criminals.
President Trump praises cities, counties for backing administration's lawsuit over California sanctuary laws; reaction from Dave Brown, former senior adviser to Sen.
Los Alamitos in March approved an ordinance claiming an exemption from the sanctuary state law, which limits cooperation between local authorities and federal immigration officials. He cited his state as the fifth largest economy in the world and described today's meeting as "Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies".
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"We have worse laws than anywhere in the world for illegal immigration, there's no place in the world that has laws that we do", Trump said, criticizing legal loopholes like "catch and release". "We're spending $1.6 billion between building and fixing" the wall, said Mr. Trump.
Trump also said the United States has the "the dumbest laws on immigration in the world".
"Sacramento is angry because they lost an election", San Jacinto Mayor Crystal Ruiz said.
"There are more people in California than you know that support what you are doing". "You're putting them at greater risk", he said.
A number of the officials behind such a push were among those invited to the White House. He echoed the sentiments of numerous other public officials, thanking Trump for his work. On Wednesday, Nielsen said little when called upon for her turn to speak, other than to thank Trump for his leadership on the issue. "They don't want another Kate Steinle".
Sam Abed, the mayor of Escondido, said before the sanctuary law passed, city officials regularly worked with ICE to see 2,700 illegal immigrant criminals deported, which he attributed to lowering crime rates back to 1980s levels.