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Trump Orders Sweeping Crackdown on Homeless Camps in California

Trump Orders Sweeping Crackdown on Homeless Camps in California

Citizen activist Scott Presler: Los Angeles is worse than Baltimore.

President Donald Trump is sending a team of White House officials to California so they can conduct a sweeping crackdown on homelessness in California.

The planning has intensified in recent weeks. Administration officials have discussed using the federal government to get homeless people off the streets of Los Angeles and other cities and into new government-backed facilities, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

But it is unclear how they could accomplish this and what legal authority they would use. It is also unclear whether the state’s Democratic politicians would cooperate with Trump, who has sought to embarrass them over the homelessness crisis with repeated attacks on their competency.

Trump’s directive is part of his broader effort to target California and a number of major U.S. cities in recent months, including Baltimore and Chicago. He has complained about what he says are years of failed Democratic leadership that have led to sustained poverty and crime.

As a Californian, it brings me joy that Trump has not completely written off the state, especially in light of the continuing reports of infectious disease outbreaks. The visit will include a tour of Skid Row in Los Angeles, which is the epicenter of the recent typhus and typhoid cases.

Officials said Trump is directly involved with this initiative and asked for regular updates. Currently, a dozen administration officials are in Los Angeles to assess the extent of the crisis.

The group includes White House, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Domestic Policy Council officials and is led by Ben Hobbs, Trump’s special assistant for domestic policy. They met with members of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s staff and toured skid row downtown, according to sources involved in the meetings.

…Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the president has called for a “crackdown” on the problem in the state. The story, citing four unnamed government officials, said officials were considering how to move people living on the streets into government facilities. They have also considered clearing homeless encampments as well, the story said.

Los Angeles officials are currently planning to establish more aggressive limitations as to where people can “camp.” Unfortunately for them, the proposed program is likely to be torched by a progressive court.

The visit by White House officials comes as lawmakers in Los Angeles debate a plan barring people from sleeping and camping on streets and sidewalks in more than a quarter of the city. The plan, which could be taken up by the City Council as early as Wednesday, would add to existing rules that put about 15 percent of Los Angeles – mainly its city parks – off-limits at night.

If approved, the plan will almost certainly face numerous legal challenges after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from last year found that prosecuting homeless people for sleeping on public property when they have no access to a shelter represented constitutionally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment. But local politicians argue that something needs to be done as they search for a way to build permanent housing for the thousands of homeless people living on the city’s streets.

Citizen activist Scott Presler, who recently led a 12-ton garbage removal drive in Baltimore, is planning a clean-up of Los Angeles on September 21. Presler has just visited the city and was shocked to discover how genuinely awful conditions are.

I sure hope that Trump’s team succeed where our state and local officials have failed miserably.


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Someone understands what Title 5 USC 3331 means and somenr is a pocket lining Liberalfonian politician.

    In Seattle and Olympia (and probably PDX too), city officials have figured out that this problem brings in BIG money from the state and feds. They are trucking in addicts from all over the country and deliberately not enforcing the laws (using the 9th circuit decision that they have to provide a bed as a pretense).

    The budget in Seattle alone is 90 million to “address” homelessness. The programs have absolutely NO governance or accountability and the characters who run them as shady as they come.

    To these liberal cities, the problem IS the benefit.

    To my amazement, local voters are quite happy with this and hate Trump more than they hate tweekers attacking them and breaking into their homes and cars.

      forksdad in reply to Andy. | September 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      Seattle is bussing their overflow into counties far away. In a tiny, ‘Mayberry’ type place my son investigated more murders in the last six months than I and my grandfather did in our entire careers.

      All due to this horse hockey.

        In Oly, they are giving them hugs and not prosecuting for any crime short of murder. Needles are everywhere as are the tents. There’s been a lot of home invasions by tweekers and tons of property crime. Rural outskirts ain’t having it if you catch my drift. There is no warm welcome for them as they drive their bondo caravans out to the rural roads and attempt to pitch tents outside the city limits.

The state of California has not failed, they are getting exactly what they want.

Interesting. What will they do with the homeless people once they are off the streets?

    That’s the key right there. I hope they are evaluated to sort out those who are criminally insane, those who are hopelessly addicted to drugs and those who can be put back on their feet through rehab. Most of these people belong in prisons and mental facilities, not on the streets.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Pasadena Phil. | September 12, 2019 at 11:18 am

      They aren’t going to do a thing with the homeless except corral them into designated concentration camps around the city and then pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. But actually help these people? Oh, hell no. Out of sight out of mind is good enough for liberals when it comes to the problems they create.

    alaskabob in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Simple….establish Camp Beverly Hills, Camp Malibu, Camp Marin, Camp Sacramento-capital grounds.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

    But the homeless won’t be off the streets. They’ll simply be corralled into designated concentration camps around the city so that they are no longer a bother to the liberal democrats that created the problem. But actually doing something about the issue? Nope. No can do.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Feed, clothe, and house them at the expense of taxpayers from the rest of the country.

    ConradCA in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 11:43 am

    For too long we have treated the homeless like children that society must take care of. It’s past time to stop that pandering and treat them like adults who are responsible for their actions.

    We should buy a couple of thousand acres of farmland hundreds of millions away, build shacks with small gardens and make this the alternative to living on the streets. Of course they should charge rent that is paid from their government benefits.

    The homeless who refuse to move to the shelter should spend most of their time in jail and pay rent taken from their government benefits.

      “We should buy…” – exactly who is this “WE” you talk about? Let the states take care of their own problems with taxes they get from their citizens.

      The center of the country does not need to have these people transferred into good farmland to ruin. Besides, I don’t think these people would like the variety of weather that we have here.

    Halcyon Daze in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Forestry mulcher.

    forksdad in reply to farmermom. | September 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Bring back the, ‘poor farm’. Most vagrancy would end in the first year.

Can’t you just see the headlines for 2020 elections?
“Democrats fight to keep Homeless in the streets and Madman Trump is fighting to get the Homeless proper shelter and care?”
Trump can’t be that lucky.

Just a bunch of “unaddressed” Democrats. No worries.

I want to see Trump order a gigantic sweeping crackdown on illegal invaders in CA. Homeless American citizens don’t concern me as much as the invaders.

Not sure what constitutional authority this falls under, but at least someone wants to “do something.”

    alaskabob in reply to GWB. | September 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I imagine the all encompassing “interstate” angle as most are coming or have come from other states. Plus the added benefit of addressing problems for U.S. Citizens displaced by illegal aliens for housing , food and medical care.

    sheepgirl in reply to GWB. | September 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Typhus, plague and leprosy might make it a federal public health issue. I hope some of those officials are from the CDC.

JackinSilverSpring | September 12, 2019 at 10:50 am

As Barry above has commented, the state is getting exactly what it wants: homeless people spreading diseases (including Bubonic plague and leprosy). I don’t think the federal government has a role here. This is a state issue. Let the voters of the state wallow in the misery they have created with their votes. The only thing I would have the federal government do is to quarantine for several days anyone who wants to travel from California so as to ascertain that he/she is not carrying a communicable disease.

    It’s a result of judges to done extent. When I was an officer you could tell someone, “move along” heck most guys would throw in a burger and fries or even find a family (super rare) a place to park for the night. But judges said you can’t do that.

    You couldn’t fix the homeless problem but there were a lot fewer when they couldn’t take over a park and demand services.

Let the political carpet bombing begin.

legacyrepublican | September 12, 2019 at 10:56 am

Someone in Silicon Valley ought to have remembered the adage — Garbage in Garbage out.

It is a fair certainty that Trump and Presler do remember and both are now set to do the later.

Even if this situation could be addressed by FEMA, wouldn’t a state of emergency or disaster declaration be required? And wouldn’t any federal intervention require a request by the state government?

I don’t think that will ever happen because it would be an admission by the city and state government (leaders) that they weren’t capable of addressing the mess they’ve created.

It does seem violative of federalism, but an interstate public health argument using federal authority under the commerce clause might be made. Besides typhus and typhoid fever, they’re also finding occurrences of leprosy. But what resources can Trump bring to bear without the cooperation of the locals?

Simple solution, feed the homeless to the hungry. 😉

This really is a state and local problem, not a Federal problem. California, and the city of Los Angeles, have plenty of resources to deal with these problems. The reasons that they have not done so, to date:
1) They spend money on worthless projects like the so called “bullet train”, which has sucked up tens of billions of dollars already, with more to come;
2) They lack the backbone, and/or intelligence, to institutionalize the chronically addicted and mentally ill. This would require a change in legislation, which shows no sign of occurring;
3) They would prefer to “virtue posture” by contenting themselves with passing plastic straw bans and ever more restrictive gun laws, without dealing with the immediate problems at hand. The roads, sidewalks, and freeways in Los Angeles are deplorable, but I don’t see any movement by city government to address these issues.
There is no rational reason that taxpayers from other states should pay for the incompetence of California voters and legislators.

    snopercod in reply to johnny dollar. | September 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you. It’s absurd that the feds should even be involved here.

    There is no rational reason that taxpayers from other states should pay for the incompetence of California voters and legislators.
    Except one: the “republican form of gov’t” clause. Return it to territorial status, place a federal officer in charge, clean it up, then let it work back towards becoming a state.

    Oooh, the dangers inherent in that……….

The Friendly Grizzly | September 12, 2019 at 11:38 am

Isn’t this another example of “a federal case” being made out of something that is a local matter?

Making it federal means the rest of the country gets taxed for California or Los Angeles and San Francisco stupidity.

Trump is wrong. This is a state and local problem. Let the democrats handle it.

    Totally agree, there is no justification for federal involvement in this problem. In fact, this is a classic example of where the states should be free to experiment with various solutions to the problem; let’s see what works and what doesn’t.

      stl in reply to Paul. | September 12, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      Problem is, the courts have already blocked most every idea and simply rule that transients can live on public property, even transportation areas and pedestrian paths.

Wait, Trump wants to create a gigantic new welfare program to support, enable and grow our criminal and drug addicted homeless class?

“Administration officials have discussed using the federal government to get homeless people off the streets of Los Angeles and other cities and into new government-backed facilities.”

And he thinks he can do this by executive fiat? Sounds like Ivanka’s been busy.

buckeyeminuteman | September 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Send ICE in and sweep the camps from one end to the other. Anybody who doesn’t produce citizenship documentation is detained in the county jail or state prison until they do. I bet the camps disperse very quickly. No need to get CA’s permission to do this. If the state won’t take them in, take them to the border and release them into Mexico.

    up north, these are American born souls. It’s a giant freaking poster for “weed is a gateway drug DO NOT LEGALIZE IT.”

    “Anybody who doesn’t produce citizenship documentation is detained in the county jail or state prison until they do.”

    Sounds like Nazi Germany to me: “Where are your papers?” can and will disrupt all sorts of normal activities for all citizens everywhere. If anybody thinks traffic cameras are bad, with until you have to produce your papers upon demand.

If you fix a problem then the money stops. if you make a problem bigger, then more money comes in. I wonder if Oberlin has figured out that this only works for governments and not colleges.

First of all, I could not find anything on the White House website about an Executive Order mentioning homeless and California. So the use of “orders” in the header is a bit inflammatory. If there is something from the White House that indicates such an order, please link to the document.

Perhaps, the President is just using his authority to get the Administration to see what is the problem and why the state has not been able to deal with the issue. As others have mentioned, there is an issue about infectious diseases which could spread to other states, so looking into the problem at this point is time is better that when it is a full scale crisis. The Feds do have lots of empty spaces, buildings, etc that could be used as a community for them.

However, it would be funny to see someone in California go to the Courts to try to object to the federal government getting involved in the state’s business.

These homeless who are US citizens should be the new recipients of Section 8 vouchers. They should not be new vouchers, but reallocated from the existing recipients who have been living on Section 8 for a decade — or several!

It will mean throwing non-diabled existing Section 8 recipients literally out on the street. But they’ve had their chance and now it’s someone else’s turn.

I was homeless (living out of my vehicle, and for 10 months living in a 10’x20′ 24-hour-access storage unit) for about 3 years total. It’s no fun. I got to meet a lot of homeless people (in Colorado Springs; in Indianapolis; and in Bend, Oregon) — I would guess that very roughly around 70-80% had drinking or drug problems, and maybe 10-15% were clearly mentally ill, and perhaps 5-10% were normal people who had fallen on hard times.

Absent the infectious diseases present in these ‘camps’ the Fed’s should let California be California. That said these camps would appear to be harboring disease vectors so clean them up to prevent disease or risk quarantine?

I was in municipal law enforcement several years ago, in Oregon. We were more than happy to assist the state in removing transient/homeless from public property, especially on public transportation and pedestrian paths. Courts blocked us and the state. Absolutely ludicrous decision, likely the same for cali and wash

Until the feds can, through some horrendous legislation, bill the states for services rendered, whether requested or not, the feds should stay out of state affairs.

Several comments about the courts blocking enforcement of vagrancy laws and so forth. Yep, because those laws are “vague” and “those people aren’t doing anything wrong.”

Funny how vagueness only works in one direction. They will will rule against laws that promote “general welfare”. But these same folks are perfectly willing to have the federal gov’t crank government to 11 with the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution. There, vagueness is a feature, not a bug.

It’s going to be OK. We simply raise everyone’s taxes to pay the life expenses of these upstanding citizens.