Reality television star and California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner vowed to do her “absolute best” to end “sanctuary” policies in the Golden State.
“I would do my absolute best to do that. It’s not going to be easy,” she said when asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity if she would work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and eliminate sanctuary policies that inhibit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement activities.
“I am for securing this state,” Jenner said in the interview that aired Wednesday evening. “I am pro-law enforcement; I am pro-border protection. OK, ICE, pro-ICE. We need these people, and they do a wonderful job.”
A total of 20 cities and counties within California are considered sanctuary jurisdictions for illegal immigrants. The entire state became a sanctuary in 2017 as former President Donald Trump was one year into a sharp crackdown on illegal immigration in the United States. The Supreme Court declined to take up the case in June 2020 after an appeals panel agreed with a district judge who sided with California.
Jenner announced her run as a Republican on April 23 to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is poised to face a recall by his constituents. The former Olympic athlete unveiled a website, titled “Caitlyn for California,” and vowed to rid the state from “special interests” and stringent lockdown protocols that were spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
In her interview with Hannity, Jenner said she's in favor of a wall along the southern border, though she did specify her immigration policies would have a measure of compassion.
“I am all for the wall,” she said. “I would secure the wall. We can’t have a state — we can’t have a country without a secure wall.”
“We are a compassionate country,” Jenner continued. “OK, we are a compassionate state. Some help, I mean, some people we’re going to send back, OK, no question about that. But I have met some of the greatest immigrants into our country. I had a guy the other day, and he was Spanish, and I’ve known him for 17 years. And I said, ‘You know what, come over here, I want to learn something' … This is a gentleman, I mean, this is the greatest guy. I want him to be a U.S. citizen.”
Jenner has branded herself as socially liberal but with “conservative economic values.” She called out California's high taxes and poor treatment of small businesses during the pandemic and spoke ill of both Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was caught using a hair salon in September, despite urging Golden State residents to remain in their homes to combat COVID-19.
Her bid is backed by top GOP operatives, including Tony Fabrizio, a pollster for Trump‘s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, and Steven Cheung, one of Trump's communications team members who helped spearhead a recall effort against then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
The athlete and reality television star, who was born Bruce Jenner, became a household name after winning the 1976 Olympic men's decathlon. In 2015, Jenner transitioned to a woman and became Caitlyn Jenner.
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