Mayor Eric Garcetti called President Donald Trump's threats to deport millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally "inhumane, disgraceful and dangerous."
Trump on Tuesday tweeted that deportation raids would begin next week and would target "millions of illegal aliens."
The Los Angeles mayor responded, saying the threats call back to "dark moments in history."
"We won’t stand for it in Los Angeles, and will take every step possible to protect Angelenos from harm and the tragedy of family separation," the mayor said in a written statement. "The families you threaten are not ‘illegal’ — they're our mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, colleagues and confidants. They’re us," Garcetti said, addressing the president.
The announcement is the latest in a series of drastic threats Trump has made to stem the rising flow of Central American migrants crossing from the border with Mexico.
More than 1 million people who had been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but have stayed in the country are the focus of the new effort, the Associated Press reported, citing an anonymous administration official.
The mayor called Trump's recent effort a "feeble attempt to mask this administration’s failure on immigration" and an "abdication of leadership."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom responded to the deportation threats by reminding immigrants about their legal rights in the state.
"Donald Trump's inhumane immigration policies are a stain on our nation's history," the Governor tweeted. "CA will not allow this admin to intimidate our immigrant communities with mass deportations. We will stand up, speak out and defend the rights of all those in CA."
Newsom's tweet provides a link to a State of California Department of Justice page that lists informative resources on topics including immigrant rights under the Trump administration, preparing for an ICE raid, religion or immigration-based discrimination and the rights of those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
“In California, I want folks to know you have rights,” Gov. Newsom said in a video posted to social media. “Know you should continue to send your kids to camp and summer school, and know that you should feel confident going to work. We have your backs.”
He reminded immigrants they don’t have to open the door to ICE officers without a warrant and that they have the right to due process and legal representation.
"The president has completely failed on immigration policy,” Newsom said.
Immigration had been the central theme of Trump's 2016 campaign. The new deportation threats come as the president is set to formally announce his 2020 reelection bid Tuesday night in Florida.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced early in June that the agency was looking to set up deportations of families in the country illegally, prioritizing those with criminal histories.
"When you sow chaos and stoke fear by putting a target on their backs, you attack every American who draws strength from our common humanity," Garcetti said.