President Donald Trump says he is strongly considering releasing immigrants taken into custody near the border into Democratic strongholds such as San Francisco. But a state Senator there says the city would welcome immigrants. (April 12)
President Donald Trump “likes the idea” of busing migrants who cross the border illegally to so-called sanctuary cities and the administration is looking into ways to put the plan into practice, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday.
When news media reports last week said Trump had proposed sending migrants to sanctuary cities – loosely defined as jurisdictions which refuse to fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement – administration officials said the idea had been “floated and rejected.” But in a series of tweets since then, the president said the administration is still “giving strong considerations” to the idea.
When asked about the conflicting statements on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Sanders said it was initially determined that “logistically there were a lot of challenges and it probably didn’t make sense to move forward and the idea did not go further.”
Sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants?: Here’s what you need to know
“We’re looking to see if there are options that make it possible and doing a full and thorough and extensive review. The president likes the idea and Democrats have said they want these individuals into their communities, so let’s see if it works and everybody gets a win out of it,” Sanders said.
Despite Sanders portrayal of the proposal as a “win” for both sides, Trump appeared to present the plan as a punishment for Democrats in a tweet Saturday.
“Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants – and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!” the president said.
Sanders said Sunday that if congressional Democrats don’t work with Trump on new legislation to stem the flow of migrants into the U.S., they will have to “take on some of that burden in their communities.” She said the plan was not the White House’s “first choice” in addressing illegal immigration, “probably not even our second or third choice, but we have to look at all options as long Democrats refuse to do their jobs and fix the problem.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., pushed back at the criticism that Democrats were unwilling to act on immigration during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If the president would support comprehensive immigration reform and work with Democrats and Republicans we have the consensus to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Cardin said. “But the president doesn’t want that to happen.”
Cardin added that it is important to address the reasons so many Central Americans are migrating to the U.S. and said that the president’s threat to cut off aid to the impoverished nations they are fleeing undermined that objective.
The Washington Post reported last week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement counsel rejected the proposal after conducting a legal review. But the president appeared to reject that conclusion, saying in a tweet Saturday that the “USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities.”
“We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” he added.
So-called sanctuary cities have been a target for Trump since he took office. Last year, his administration tried to stop federal money from going to jurisdictions considered “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants. But in several court rulings, judges blocked those attempts.
Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen and Alan Gomez
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/14/migrants-sanctuary-cities-trump/3464950002/