At a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Donald Trump told the assembled crowd that the United States is already sending immigrants to sanctuary cities, bragging to the crowd that the plan was “actually my sick idea.” According to Axios, while the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t formally established a sanctuary cities plan, the president claims that his idea to transfer undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities is already happening.
“Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities… and public resources, like nobody has ever seen before,” he told the crowd. “Now we’re sending many of them to sanctuary cities, thank you very much. They ain’t too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.”
“Hey, hey, what did they say? We want them,” Trump added, according to The Hill. “I say we’ll give em to you, thank you.”
It’s not the first time the president has claimed that he has already begun implementing his plan to send immigrants to cities who provide additional protection for them. At an NRA rally on Friday, he told the crowd that since his administration was being forced to release undocumented immigrants, they had begun sending them to sanctuary cities already. He claimed that the government was sending as many as the cities “can handle.”
In mid-April, Trump attempted to pressure Democrats to cooperate with his immigration policies by making the announcement that he would send detainees to sanctuary cities in states like California, Colorado, Florida, and New York.
On Twitter, the president claimed that the federal government has the right to send immigrants to sanctuary cities and demanded that those cities start taking immigrants — particularly calling out California.
“The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities,” he wrote.
Trump says he’s "proud" of his "sick" sanctuary cities plan https://t.co/A0SmAa0hyo
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 28, 2019
Experts told Axios that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would likely struggle to implement such a policy because there would be serious liabilities if anyone got injured, and there wasn’t enough funding allocated to the department for such a large undertaking.
While speaking about immigration, Trump also reported to the crowd that his administration had already built 400 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
However, as The New York Times reports, this number is exaggerated. All told, 258 miles of fencing have been constructed, and that number includes replacement projects and construction that has yet to be contracted.
The White House hasn’t responded to requests for details on the sanctuary city policy.