Trump Wanted to Release Detained Migrants in Nancy Pelosi’s District to Get Back at Her
Wanting to retaliate against Democrats critical of President Trump and his border wall, the White House tried twice to push U.S. immigration authorities into releasing migrant detainees in “sanctuary cities,” according to The Washington Post.
Sanctuary cities are places where local authorities have said they won’t turn over most undocumented immigrants for deportation.
The Post spoke with Department of Homeland Security officials and obtained emails discussing the plan, which included targeting the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
According to a congressional investigator who spoke with a DHS whistleblower, Trump adviser and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller came up with the plan.
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The White House first proposed the idea in November, when a migrant caravan was headed for the southern border, and again in February, when Trump was fighting with Democrats over funding for more beds in migrant detention centers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reacted negatively to the proposal, citing budget and liability reasons, and the legal department finally said in February that the plan was inappropriate, the Post reports.
In a statement, the White House said “this was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.” A spokeswoman for Pelosi said the “extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated. Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.”
Twitter was disgusted:
This is beyond shocking. We have a President who acts like the President of only a portion of the United States, and an enemy to the rest. Heartbreaking. https://t.co/qNAL3vBsTb
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) April 12, 2019
what did they think would happen exactly when the immigrants were released in sanctuary cities? did they think it would bring down san francisco? eat all the sourdough? https://t.co/DH03GKIOG8
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) April 12, 2019
They wanted to use living, breathing people as weapons against their political opponents. They wanted to endanger vulnerable, frightened people for a political stunt. This administration is endlessly cruel.https://t.co/nMOBAxc3fz
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) April 12, 2019
Busing people. To dump them in cities. Just to punish political rivals. A plan that was pushed by the Trump White House. https://t.co/xsaa09rGXo
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) April 12, 2019
The abuses of power are multiplying by the hour. White House tried to pressure U.S. immigration officials to release detainees into ‘sanctuary cities’ to target Trump’s foes. Until Democrats step up and start impeachment hearings the tyranny will continue.https://t.co/03gxuvQ8h1
— Ryan Knight ???? (@ProudResister) April 12, 2019
What's more cynical than vilifying illegal immigrants as criminals?
Deliberately busing them into Democratic cities and districts in the hope of causing trouble.
Yes, that's what the Trump White House repeatedly pressured ICE to do. https://t.co/HL2wkUBrx1
— Will Saletan (@saletan) April 12, 2019