California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who is competing against Republican John Cox to become California’s next governor, reportedly said he regrets implementing a policy while he was mayor of San Francisco that required law enforcement officers to report juvenile illegal aliens who were charged with committing violent crimes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee, Newsom said that he wished he had focused on illegal immigrants who were convicted of violent felonies, and not on those who were merely charged with committing any violent crime.
“These were people charged … but not convicted,” Newsom said. “Some people ultimately were exonerated that got caught up in it. 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.”
Cox took the opportunity to criticize Newsom as a flip-flopper. On July 3, a Cox press release read: “Gavin Newsom separated families and deported children before he was against it.” He added, “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 reportedly made the charges against Newsom after the lieutenant governor criticized the Trump administration at a rally in Los Angeles in late June for temporarily separating thousands of illegal immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I am sick and tired of the cruelty, the cages, the concrete,” Newsom said. “Sick and tired of zero-tolerance. Sick and tired of the policies coming out of the White House, Trump and Trumpism.”
However, Politifact noted that “as mayor, Newsom defended the policy, saying many of the youth his administration reported to ICE had committed serious crimes.”
“A lot of them have histories; a lot of them are second, third chances,” he reporedly told the New York Times in 2009. “This is not as touchy-feely as some people may want to make it.”
David Campos, a San Francisco supervisor from late 2008 to January 2017, told the Bee that Newsom’s statement sounded to him “like he was admitting a mistake, and I give him credit for that. He has more power and standing to criticize Trump if he can admit that a mistake was made,” Campos reportedly said. “He went from one extreme of not reporting any juveniles to the other extreme of reporting any juvenile, including children pretty young, the moment they’re accused of a violent crime.”