The Trump administration has made a proposal to release immigrant detainees onto the streets of “sanctuary cities,” including San Francisco. This has happened on at least two occasions within the past six months as retribution against the president’s political enemies, The Washington Post reported, citing Department of Homeland Security officials who remained unnamed and emails.
The proposal was first put out there in November in the midst of reports of a large migrant caravan from Central America making its way to the southern border of the United States. The other time it was considered– in February– occurred during a controversy between Trump and Democrats over border wall funding.
The proposal was rejected both times by immigration agencies, the report said. A Nov. 16 email from the White House to officials at several agencies reportedly asked whether migrants could be arrested and bused to “small-and mid-sized sanctuary cities” and other Democratic strongholds.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was considered as one of the areas to focus on, according to the paper. Pelosi criticized the plan on Thursday. She called it “despicable” to use “human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants.”
The proposal was meant to alleviate crowded detention centers, the White House told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). An ICE official responded that the inquiry was littered with budgetary and liability issues, but said “there are PR risks as well.” Trump has repeatedly blasted “sanctuary cities,” areas where local authorities refuse to cooperate with immigration agencies.
“This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” a White House statement to the paper said.
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