Trump confirms he’s looking at releasing detained immigrants into so-called sanctuary cities


President Donald Trump on Friday confirmed that his administration's idea of releasing immigrant detainees into sanctuary cities across America is still under "strong" consideration.

"Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very risky immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only", he wrote on Twitter.

Trump responded Friday morning on Twitter, tweeting that the reports were true and officials have strongly considered placing immigrants in sanctuary cities.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday the president wants to explore a twice-rejected proposal to send migrants to "sanctuary cities", but it was not the preferred solution to fix the straining immigration system.

One would have sent people already in detention and being held elsewhere to places with Democratic opponents of the president, while the other would have transported migrants stopped at the border directly to San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and other cities, the Associated Press reported.

"Sanctuary city" is a broad term applied to jurisdictions that have policies in place created to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.

The Post said a White House official and a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal was no longer under consideration.

"I am shocked but not surprised that once again this president is playing a cynical game with people's lives in order to score political points", Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley, California, said in a statement.

Luis Garza, executive director of Comunidades Unidas, said it's "very concerning" to see the White House consider the plan, though not surprising. Nadler's home base of New York City is a designated sanctuary city, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Laws make it hard to quickly return Central Americans, and many spend years in the USA waiting for their immigration cases to play out.

"A source familiar with discussions told Fox News that Democrats who advocate leniency toward illegal immigrants should work with the administration to find ways to transport those set for release, including in their states and districts", Fox News reported.

Durkan, however, said that while she is not concerned about more immigrants arriving in Seattle, she is anxious about the way the President is using a "law enforcement agency" as a weapon.

"Now they are talking about bussing families to particular cities to target political opponents", Castro said.

At least two versions the plan were considered.

ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence denied that the White House pressured immigration officials to implement the idea. Nielsen resisted and the DHS legal team eventually produced an analysis that killed the plan, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

"I was asked my opinion and provided it, and my advice was heeded", he said in a statement.

He also has warned that if Mexico doesn't stop the flow of drugs and illegal aliens within the next year, he will shut down the border.

In response, some cities have banished ICE from jails where agents could easily pick up immigration violators.