President Donald Trump campaigned as an immigration hardliner, and continues to govern as one. The Trump administration’s latest crackdown on immigration appears to be taking an unexpected turn, however. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, after attempting to target asylum seekers and reportedly ordering immigration officials to break the law and promising them pardons, Trump turned his attention to so-called sanctuary cities.
The president is threatening the Democratic Party with apprehending undocumented immigrants, and then transferring them to sanctuary cities in what he claims is yet another strong effort to curb illegal immigration. But according to a new report from ABC News, Trump’s latest policy proposal — although, it seems, designed to reduce immigration — could actually help migrants stay in the United States.
According to the report, Trump’s idea could help migrants by placing them in locations in which they are less likely to be targeted by federal officials, and much less likely to be deported. Furthermore, many of so-called sanctuary cities have valuable resources — advocacy groups and such — meant to help immigrants stay in the United States. The only downside for the migrants would be the high cost of living in such cities.
“With immigrants being less likely to commit crimes than the U.S. born population, and with sanctuary jurisdictions being safer and more productive than non-sanctuary jurisdictions, the data damns this proposal as a politically motivated stunt that seeks to play politics with peoples’ lives,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon explained in a statement.
ABC News notes that analyses have suggested that immigrants in cities such as Los Angeles and New York are 20 percent less likely to be arrested than those living in smaller towns. But while Trump’s plan would likely help migrants, there are downsides to it. The costs of transportating migrants from borders towns to big cities would financially burden the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — flights chartered by the agency cost nearly $8,000 per flight hour.
Furthermore, Trump could have a difficult time demonstrating that his proposal is necessary. Even though the president often claims that there is a shortage of so-called jail space at the southern border, that is not the case. According to official data, as of April 11, three of America’s biggest facilities meant to detain migrants were “nowhere near capacity,” with one of them housing only nine immigrants.
Policy director and senior attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, Angela Chan, described Trump’s idea as “illogical,” suggesting that it is a waste of time and effort.
“It’s illogical. It’s just alarming that they are spending so much effort and so much time to engage in political theater,” she said.