A newspaper report that said federal immigration officials are preparing to conduct massive raids in Northern California prompted a quick response from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra this week.
Becerra acknowledged the federal government's jurisdiction over immigration enforcement, but said it must respect the state's laws and its right to determine how to keep Californians safe.
"We are not in the business of deportation, we are in the business of public safety," Becerra said. "We will always work with our federal partners in every respect to go after drug dealers, human traffickers, potential terrorists. But Donald Trump should not ask us to be a deportation force for his immigration enforcement activities."
During a media briefing Thursday, the attorney general addressed a report by the San Francisco Chronicle that quoted an anonymous source warning there could be more than 1,500 arrests in San Francisco and nearby cities. Becerra sought to tamp down fears and encourage immigrants to know their rights.
"Just know that California is doing all it can to provide everyone in this state with the types of protections of their rights and their privacy as we can," Becerra said, pointing to two new state laws that aim to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.