The White House has at least twice considered a plan to release detained immigrants into Democrat-led “sanctuary cities,” three people familiar with the idea confirmed Friday. After initial reports cited that this roundtable plan was just a mere suggestion, President Donald Trump doubled down on the proposal in a big way.
“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 tweeted.
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
“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy—so this should make them very happy!” he continued.
….The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
Supporters say that the president has a point. How are Democrats upset about illegal immigrants coming into sanctuary cities? The liberal left opened up the potential for its cities to become safe havens for illegal immigrants.
In other words, Democrats have been “welcoming” illegals… until they actually show up? This is the mess they claimed they wanted, and never really wanted.
For years now, Democrats sat on Capitol Hill campaigning for relaxed measures on illegal immigrants and a ton of Democratic cities — almost all far away from the actual border — have voted to become sanctuary cities.
So-called sanctuary cities are places where local authorities refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, denying information or resources that would help ICE round up people living in the country illegally.
They include New York City and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco, who on Friday called the idea of shipping illegal immigrants to her district “unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people, to address who we are — a nation of immigrants.”
Now there’s a dumpster fire on the southern border that everyday Americans have to deal with — and these liberal Democrats never had to worry about it.
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The plan, which was first reported by The Washington Post, is one of many ideas considered by an increasingly frustrated White House in recent months as President Donald Trump has railed against the growing number of Central American migrant families crossing the southern border. Officials say they are running out of options, and have proposed and recycled numerous ideas that have never come to fruition.
Trump in recent weeks has discussed the idea of renewing his administration’s controversial family separation policy.
And he and aides are weighing forcing asylum-seeking families to choose between being detained together as their cases make their way through the courts or sending their children to government-run shelters.
There were at least two versions of the sanctuary city plan that were considered. One would have moved people who had already been detained and were being held elsewhere to places with Democratic opponents of the president, while the other would have transported migrants apprehended at the border directly to San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and other spots.[Sponsored] Have you tried this finger trick?
A Homeland Security spokesperson played down the reported idea, saying it was “floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.” A White House official echoed that language.
Former ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence, who on Friday was announced as the agency’s acting director, denied that the White House pressured immigration officials to implement the idea.
“I was asked my opinion and provided it, and my advice was heeded,” he said in a statement.
The Department of Health and Human Services said this week that it had started scouting vacant properties that could be turned into facilities for holding migrant children in several cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and San Antonio.
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Those facilities would be licensed by each state and likely take several months to be approved and opened, separating them from the rapidly-expanding emergency shelter at Homestead, Florida, and the now-closed tent facility at Tornillo, Texas.
The Defense Department has also been reviewing a number of military bases to find a location that can house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children as the U.S. braces for a surge of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this spring.
Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted the request for space last month, as Homeland Security leaders warned that tens of thousands of families were crossing the border each month.
HHS has traditionally been responsible for providing temporary shelter to unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border.
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During his tenure at the Justice Department, Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions went after sanctuary cities, threatening to cut off their federal funding.
ICE arrested 32,977 people accused of crimes and 20,464 for immigration violations during the budget year 2018. There were 105,140 arrests of people with criminal convictions and 158,581 arrests overall. The most frequent criminal conviction was for drunken driving, followed by drug and traffic offenses.
By comparison, in the last budget year of the Obama administration, there were 94,751 people arrested with convictions, 6,267 arrests of those with pending charges and 9,086 on immigration violations. There were 111,104 arrests overall.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.