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“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,” he said, later tweeting that ,”The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
The pair of tweets comes in response to a report from the Washington Post which cites documents and statements from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), saying the administration had twice floated the idea of releasing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees into sanctuary cities.
According to the Post, administration officials first proposed the idea in November, as the midterm elections approached and a caravan of Central American migrants made its way to the southern U.S. border. The plan came up again in February, in response to the political battle over funding for a wall along the border.
According to the Post, the administration first reached out to officials at DHS on Nov. 18, 2018, asking whether it would be possible to bus ICE detainees “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities” to alleviate issues with detention spaces, as well as to punish Democrats.
But the idea of sending ICE detainees to sanctuary cities for political retaliation was met with disdain and apprehension from the department, with a top ICE official citing budgetary and liability concerns, as well as the optics of the plan. When the White House proposed the plan again in February, ICE’s legal team apparently shut down the request again.
The Daily Dot has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for comment on the president’s tweets but did not receive a response by press time.
H/T Washington Post
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.