Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones warned Congress Thursday that the federal government has no firm plan on immigration, which is putting public safety at risk because this failure has allowed local governments to impose their own rules in sanctuary cities.

In his prepared testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee, Jones said he and other local officials have "no interest in enforcing immigration law," but said that assumes someone at the federal level is. Unfortunately, he said, "none of that is happening to any satisfactory degree."

"The problem with the current immigration policy can fundamentally be simply stated as there is NO coherent, sustainable immigration policy," Jones wrote. "Worse than that, there is anti-policy (an unwillingness to support even current promulgated policy and law, or challenge contrary policies), and each state has their own policies and laws on immigration."

Republicans have argued for months now that President Obama's latest executive action on immigration significantly weakened U.S. immigration enforcement, by prioritizing only a segment of the illegal population for deportation. Jones backed up that assessment, and said Obama's decision to repeal the Secure Communities program in November is a significant problem.

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Jones said that program was aimed at identifying illegal immigrants before they are released from local prisons, and holding those who need to be deported for a few extra days. But he said under Obama's new plan, many illegal immigrants with criminal records aren't viewed as a top priority for deportation.

"Unfortunately, prior removal, multiple felony arrests, youths with extensive gang activity, misdemeanor convictions, and many felony convictions (as long as they aren't 'aggravated felonies') won't get you in the first priority," he said.

"This coupled with many states' rush to reduce felonies to misdemeanors means that many undocumented criminals do not even rise to the level of concern or care for the federal government and its law enforcement agencies," he added.

Republicans have also said the existence of "sanctuary cities" is making the problem worse, since those cities often make a point of not following federal requests to detain illegal immigrants so they can be deported. Jones said under Obama, federal demands to hold immigrants are seen as suggestions that many cities ignore.

Jones' testimony came at the same hearing where Jim Steinle testified that he lost his daughter Kate to an illegal immigrant earlier this month. Kate was killed by Francisco Sanchez, who had been deported several times already, and was released by the city of San Francisco despite a federal request to keep him in prison.

Steinle testified earlier this week, and told members in emotion testimony that his daughter died in his arms after she was shot. "Suddenly a shot rang out, Kate fell, and looked at me and said 'Help me, dad,'" he said. "Those are the last words I will ever hear from my daughter."

Jones said sanctuary city policies allowed that to happen and need to be reined in.

"The federal government should not permit this because it is putting communities at grave risk — not to mention that the only entity legally entitled to pass immigration laws is the federal government," Jones wrote.

"Yet the federal government continues to capitulate their plenary authority — and their responsibility — to enforce existing laws or create policy applications to keep communities safe."