White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Sunday that the White House was considering sending undocumented immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities, according to CNN.
Appearing on ABC’s The Week, Sanders said that while shipping the illegal immigrants to the sanctuary cities was not the Trump administration’s “first choice” option, it remained something that the White House might be inclined to do. Sanders said that the idea to do so was first proposed at the staff level, but it immediately seemed to hit a roadblock for logistical reasons, pointing out that “there were a lot of challenges and it probably didn’t make sense to move forward.” But, because the president liked the idea so much, the option is back “on the table.”
“The President heard the idea, he likes it, so — well, we’re looking to see if there are options that make it possible and doing a full and thorough and extensive review.”
There had been rumors all of this week of the Trump administration possibly considering to send the illegal immigrants to American sanctuary cities. On Friday, Trump confirmed that the idea was being considered by him, partially because it is a move which would anger Democrats. The president took a swipe at California, a state which has not been favorable to him. He threatened the state with swarming it with illegal immigrants.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) April 15, 2019
President Trump: "California certainly is always saying, 'Oh we want more people,' and they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we'll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply — and let's see if they're so happy." pic.twitter.com/nbX1Ynjo2o
— The Hill (@thehill) April 13, 2019
A day later, Trump said that his threat to California was very real, tweeting that “the USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!”
Sanctuary cities is an umbrella term to define locales which have limited involvement with federal immigration enforcement. Several of the largest cities in the United States fall under its ambit.
But despite Trump’s assertions, the fact remains that the legality of such a move would be in question. Republican Senator from Florida, Rick Scott, said that the president’s threats were a means to anger Democrats and that he was not serious about implementing it.
“Maybe he’s just saying this to make everybody crazy, make everybody talk about it on their shows,” Scott said.
Meanwhile, California lawmakers have even welcomed Trump’s proposal, saying that they cannot be threatened with something they are not afraid of. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who was also targeted by the president on Twitter for not wanting detained immigrants, said that her city would be happy to welcome them.
“It’s time to stop fanning hate and division @realDonaldTrump – I’ve been consistent and clear: #Oakland welcomes all, no matter where you came from or how you got here,” she wrote on Twitter.