"The View" co-host Joy Behar blasted President Donald Trump's position on sanctuary cities on the April 26 show, comparing immigrants in the country illegally to slaves trying to find refuge through the Underground Railroad.
Behar made the comments in response to fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg's position on sanctuary cities, The Blaze reports.
"I do believe that people when the laws are in place, when there’s a criminal, there’s nothing saying that New York can’t take care of that, that they’re not gonna deport somebody and say, ‘we put this person out,’" said Goldberg. "As I said the other day, [former President Barack] Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any president, than any president. Or, undocumented immigrants, the words are like being black, or negro or African-American."
Trump has tried to withhold federal funding to "sanctuary cities," the cities that purposefully refuse to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement efforts to deport immigrants in the country without permission, according to The New York Times.
On April 25, a San Francisco judge temporarily blocked Trump's executive order. The block will remain in place until a judge issues a broader ruling on the order's constitutionality.
Behar argued that immigrants in the country illegally now have a similar plight to African slaves or to Jews during the Holocaust.
"It’s sort of like the Underground Railroad in a way," Behar responded. "It reminds me of, or the people of Germany who took in the Jews, there are people who are really in trouble, who are going to be separated from their children."
"And anyway, where’s Melania [Trump] gonna go if we don’t have any sanctuary cities?" she added, referring to the fact that the first lady immigrated to the U.S. from Slovenia.
Cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston all label themselves as "sanctuary cities," often preventing local police from asking about immigration status. Trump claims the cities "breed crime," according to The New York Times.
"If we have to, we’ll defund," said the president. "We give tremendous amounts of money to California -- California in many ways is out of control."
But, as the San Francisco judge argued, the executive order attempting to force cities to comply with federal law is against the Constitution. Forcing the city to work with ICE would threaten public safety, as there would be no trust between immigrants and local authorities and immigrants would be less likely to report crime or serve as witnesses.
"This is why we have courts -- to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don’t understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it," said San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera in a statement. "Because San Francisco took this president to court, we’ve been able to protect billions of dollars that fund lifesaving programs across this country."