President Trump announced the new policy consideration one day after the White House denied it’d ever been “seriously” considered.
Ignoring advice from the White House’s own lawyers, President Trump says he’s “strongly” and seriously considering released undocumented migrants detained at the border into Democratic “sanctuary cities.”
According to the president, liberals should be “very happy’ with the decision, considering their alleged love for illegal immigrants.
“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”
President Trump has long misconstrued Democrats’ comparably tolerant approach to asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants as advocation for “open borders.”
And now—in a threat that’s almost funny—Trump says he may offload migrants into sanctuary cities.
Sanctuary cities, which refuse to cooperate with or share certain types of information with federal immigration authorities, have long drawn criticism from the president and political right. Trump has, in the past, tried to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that don’t fully accommodate agencies like ICE.
Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
In line with his harsh and hardline anti-immigration rhetoric, Trump has insisted throughout his presidency that sanctuary policies cause crime.
But that consideration doesn’t appear relevant to Trump.
“We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it to be honest with you,” Trump said on Friday, in response to a question about the migrant-dumping proposal.
“We might as well do what they always say they want,” Trump said. “We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it.”
The president says California has previously signaled willingness to let more people and more migrants into the state.
“We can give them a lot,” Trump said. “We can give them an unlimited supply.”
The comments, note the New York Times, come one day after other administration officials say the policy proposal was never seriously considered.
But on Friday, a White House spokesperson reversed course, saying Democrats should cooperate with the Trump administration in welcoming more migrants into their districts.
“Democrats say we must have open borders and that illegal immigrants have a right to be in this country at all costs,” said spokesman Hogan Gidley. “So they should be working with the administration to find the best ways to transport these illegal aliens that are already set for release, into communities in their districts and states.”
Of course, scarcely any Democratic politicians have voiced any desire to have truly open borders. Many, instead, advocate for the humane treatment of asylum-seekers and migrants who’ve already established lives in the United States and avoiding breaking any laws after entering.
Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, called Trump’s proposal ‘reprehensible.’
“Trump’s plan to release migrants into ‘enemy’ cities as if they were some kind of contagion is reprehensible,” Markey tweeted. “Trump is obsessed with the border and sanctuary cities because he only wins by dividing people.”
Prior to Trump’s comments Friday, White House lawyers had purportedly encouraged the president to drop the idea, noting the proposal would likely attract numerous lawsuits; furthermore, forcibly relocating illegal immigrants to cities wherein they have no relatives, friends or other community ties could encourage them to miss court dates and simply make a bad problem even worse.
Along with Democratic leaders—including Nancy Pelosi, whose office panned the proposal as “despicable”—Trump’s latest idea has been blasted by immigration advocates.
Janet Marguia, the president of UnidosUS, the country’s largest nonprofit, Latino advocacy group, echoed Markey in calling the plan “reprehensible.”
“It seems that not only is President Trump attempting to utilize human beings, who have already experienced a traumatic situation, as tools to get back at political foes, but as a vehicle to further divide communities by stoking racial tensions,” Marguia said in a statement.