Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on Tuesday got Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to admit that the Obama administration doesn't want to force state and local governments to comply with federal immigration detention orders.

Gowdy and others grilled Johnson about these orders in a hearing aimed at exploring how an illegal immigrant with a criminal record shot and killed a 32-year-old woman in San Francisco nearly two weeks ago.

Gowdy started his questioning by demanding to know, "why was somebody in federal prison with a federal detainer on him released to a sanctuary city?"

Johnson replied, "You'd have to ask the Bureau of Prisons."

Gowdy then noted that the Obama administration has fought to prevent states and localities from trying to enforce immigration laws, but has not forced so-called sanctuary cities to change their policies aimed at protecting illegal immigrants. Johnson resisted that by saying the San Francisco case is an example of why cities need to follow federal instructions on immigration, but then Gowdy asked why the government doesn't make it mandatory to do so.

"I think that would be a huge setback in our ability to work with state and local law enforcement, and I suspect that they would agree as well," Johnson said.

Gowdy said the San Francisco shooting shows that U.S. border policies are a mess, as the alleged shooter was deported several times and had a criminal record dating back to 1991.

"He was and is, by any definition, a career criminal," Gowdy said. "He is Exhibit A that we must not have functional control over the border, or he wouldn't have re-entered so many times."

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