White House Considers Releasing Immigrant Detainees Into Sanctuary Cities

April 12, 2019 - 11:46 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The While House is considering releasing detained immigrants onto the streets of “sanctuary cities,” such as New York City, to retaliate against President Donald Trump’s political adversaries.

First reported by the Washington Post, the Trump administration confirmed Friday that President Trump considered the proposal at least twice in the last six months – once in November, as a large caravan of migrants moved towards the U.S.-Mexico border, and in February, amid an ongoing battle with Democrats over border wall funding.

President Trump later took to Twitter to confirm that the idea is still being floated by the administration. 

"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...." the president wrote, "....The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!"

Sanctuary cities are places where authorities do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to round up people living that may be living in the United States illegally.

Whistleblowers at the Department of Homeland Security told the Post that ICE officials rejected the idea, believing that it would be another costly public relations nightmare. 

“This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” the White House said in a statement to the Post on Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in California is allegedly among the cities that the White House wants to target. New York City would also be targeted.

Still, being a sanctuary city is something that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson feels proud of.

“Those are the values that our city stands for,” Johnson said. “I am proud that those are the values that my city stands for.”

Additionally, Crain's Greg David explains that there wouldn't be any lack of employment for any immigrants that may arrive in the city.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez responded to the president’s suggestion on Friday, calling it “an outrageous abuse of executive power.”

He adds that political retaliation against sanctuary cities is not the way to run the government.

“And to target members of Congress and public officials from those cities is an incredible abuse of power,” Menendez said.

The number of detainees in ICE custody has approached 50,000 in recent months, according to the newspaper report.

Trump allegedly wanted to reinstate family separations as well, but later backtracked and assured the American public that it wouldn’t happen again.