(CNN) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the Trump administration created its own immigration problems by enacting a so-called "zero-tolerance" policy that resulted in the separation of children from their parents at the border.
"In Washington, you have imaginary problems, and they can't even solve the imaginary problems," the Democratic mayor told CNN's Van Jones in an interview that air ed on CNN at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, adding that family separation is "a problem of their own invention."
"Did somebody say they had to separate children from their parents at border?" Garcetti asked. "They created that problem. They can't even solve that problem that they created."
"They are creating these problems," he added. "They are picking fights. They are losing friends and allies."
When asked about calls from other Democrats to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Garcetti said that while he does believe the agency should be restructured, he does not believe it should be abolished.
"We need to reset the mission of ICE, but the idea that we wouldn't go after child traffickers or folks who are bringing pornography into this country, people who are breaking the laws -- we need that, but the leadership has given them a mission that's making us less safe," he said.
Garcetti's advice from Obama
Garcetti, who once turned down an offer to work for Barack Obama so he could run for mayor, sees the former president as an adviser.
According to him, Obama wants the Democratic Party to change for the better. "He wants us to win," Garcetti said. "But I think he wants us to get back to being a party of listeners again, a party of decency."
Looking to the future
When it comes to the future, Garcetti is looking for a change. "My heart says we all better step up, that almost any patriot with a chance should be thinking about what they can do in 2020, what role they can play, and in 2018," he told Jones.
But will he run for president? "I have no idea," he said.
No one has ever gone from being mayor to becoming president, but referencing Trump's history in reality television, Garcetti mused, "I think the rules are off."
Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.