President Donald Trump’s fight against sanctuary cities is about to get some help from deep behind enemy lines in California.
More than a dozen conservative officials from across the state are flying into Washington to meet with the president on Wednesday afternoon — a session that current and former administration officials say is intended to highlight Trump’s commitment to eradicate municipal safe harbors for immigrants.
“It’s a show of force,” said a Republican familiar with the discussions.
The political component of the meeting is hard to miss. The president gets an opportunity to amplify his recent message about the need for California officials to cooperate with federal officials to stem what he says is a new tide of illegal immigration. And for the local Republicans, the bulk of whom are from Southern California, the event offers a national megaphone to broadcast their anti-sanctuary resistance — a central theme in their efforts to roll back recent Democratic gains in traditionally red San Diego and Orange counties, a region that’s pivotal to the fight for control of the House.
Republican strategist Matt Cunningham, a veteran of Orange County politics, says the meeting is a savvy move by the administration on an issue that’s gaining resonance even in solidly blue California.