House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that President Donald Trump's idea of rounding up illegal immigrants and sending them to sanctuary cities was "disrespectful" to the problems the nation faces.
When asked what she thought about the idea, the Democrat lawmaker said it was "just another notion that is unworthy of the president of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges we face as a people, to address who we are — a nation of immigrants," according to The Associated Press.
One of the locales the Trump administration reportedly considered for the possible relocation of undocumented migrants was Pelosi's district of San Francisco, according to The Washington Post. Other possibilities considered were New York City and Chicago.
Trump tweeted earlier on Friday about the proposal, confirming that the idea had been considered. He said that since Democrats were unwilling to change the country's "dangerous" immigration laws, the White House was considering placing illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities only.
"The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!" he wrote in another tweet.
The idea is not new. The notion was considered last November -- and again in February -- as news of the border crisis gained national attention. According to The Washington Post, White House officials informed Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the proposal would to help mitigate overcrowding at detention centers located on the Mexican border.
Those familiar with the story said that attorneys for the Department of Homeland Security reportedly rejected the proposal.
"This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion," a White House official said.The Washington Post reported that Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne said the idea of relocating illegal immigrants was cruel.
"Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable," she said.
Other critics of the proposal believed it would simply be too expensive and burdensome to transport large groups of illegal immigrants across the country, The Washington Post reported.
On Thursday, Pelosi expressed hope that Democrats could come to some sort of agreement on a comprehensive immigration reform package with the president. During the House Democrats' annual conference in Virginia, the speaker said she was not going to give up on the president, Fox News reported. She added that while matters like the border crisis were complicated, agreements could be reached.