Donald Trump turned to Twitter on Friday to share that his administration is “strongly” considering releasing detained migrants into Democratic sanctuary cities. He went on to rant that just the idea of releasing migrants detained at the border into these sanctuary cities should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.
“We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it, to be honest with you,” Trump tweeted on Friday.
“We might as well do what they always say they want,” Mr. Trump said if Democrats do not agree to new immigration policies. “We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it,” he then added that California welcomed the idea of more people coming to the state.
“We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply,” he said.
Just a day before Trump’s Twitter rant the administration had stated that releasing the detained migrants into the sanctuary cities was not an option, but after Trump’s tweet a White House spokesperson stated that Democrats should work with the administration to help welcome migrants into their districts.
“Democrats say we must have open borders and that illegal immigrant have a right to be in this country at all costs,” the spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said, adding, “so they should be working with the administration to find the best ways to transport those illegal aliens that are already set for release, into communities in their districts and states.
Massachusetts has several sanctuary cities and state Senator Edward J. Markey is speaking out against Trump’s suggestion.
“Trump’s plan to release migrants into ‘enemy’ cities as if they are some kind of contagion is reprehensible,” Markey tweeted. “Trump is obsessed with the border and sanctuary cities because he only wins by dividing people.”
An immigration official at the Department of Homeland Security pushed back last year against the proposal to release migrants into sanctuary cities, saying “it would create “an unnecessary operational burden on Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
Even celebrities are chiming in on Trump’s new proposal. Cher tweeted on Sunday that, “I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants, but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN.WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000+????????Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS.PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE,& HUNGRY? If My State Can’t Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More,”
One cost Trump hasn’t evaluated yet is the expense of moving migrants from border towns to sanctuary cities which are scattered all across the United States some as far away as Vermont. The cost of transportation would be a great expense.
In most cases, reallocating homeland security funds intended for a specific purpose requires approval from both the House and Senate.
Trump’s proposal might have been made just to stoke up racial tensions across the country something he has repeatedly done since taking office.
“The clearest sign yet that the president fully intends to chart a path to re-election on the back of racist rhetoric and policies intended to divide us,” stated George Gascón, the district attorney for San Francisco.
“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,” Janet Murguía, the president of UnidosUS, formerly the National Council of La Raza, said in a statement.
Three Democratic House committee chairmen stated on Monday that the Trump administration lacks the legal authority to transfer undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities. They have asked that the Trump administration provide all documentation for the plan by the beginning of May.
“We are deeply troubled by multiple reports, recently confirmed by the President, that the Trump Administration is considering releasing detained immigrants into congressional districts represented by Democrats in a bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points,” said the lawmakers’ letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
It is highly unlikely that Trump will push releasing migrants into sanctuary cities because, as he stated in his own tweet, it would make “liberals” happy. However, it is clear that the proposal is back on the table.