SAN DIEGO -- With a house-cleaning at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump is making it clear he wants to get even tougher on immigration.
But can he?
In his first two years in office, Trump has had a difficult time implementing his immigration agenda, with many of his policies being blocked as unconstitutional -- or potentially unconstitutional -- by federal courts across the nation.
New leadership at DHS may bring fresh ideas, and a stance even more hard line than before, but will run up against the same existing court rulings and likely generate a surge of new legal battles.
"I'm sure whatever Trump tries to do will be challenged," said Peter Nunez, a former U.S. attorney in San Diego who supports tighter immigration control. "That goes without saying."
Trump has had a particularly contentious relationship with California, where many of the immigration lawsuits are filed. But while California judges from both political parties have consistently ruled against his administration, so have courts elsewhere.
"We're bucking a court system that never, ever rules for us," Trump told reporters last week, adding that "we have the worst laws of any country anywhere in the world."
Trump has placed much of his hope in the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has had a few legal victories, namely a win on his travel ban to certain predominately Muslim countries.
He said as much in his February announcement declaring a national emergency to secure border wall funding.
"We will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there," Trump predicted. "And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling. And then we'll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we'll get a fair shake. And we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban."