Speed Reads

petty thy name is trump

White House proposed releasing migrants in sanctuary cities to get back at Democrats

Wanting to retaliate against Democrats critical of President Trump and his border wall, the White House tried twice to push U.S. immigration authorities into releasing migrant detainees in "sanctuary cities," The Washington Post reports.

Sanctuary cities are places where local authorities have said they won't turn over most undocumented immigrants for deportation. The Post spoke with Department of Homeland Security officials and obtained emails discussing the plan, which included targeting the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). According to a congressional investigator who spoke with a DHS whistleblower, Trump adviser and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller came up with the plan.

The White House first proposed the idea in November, when a migrant caravan was headed for the southern border, and again in February, when Trump was fighting with Democrats over funding for more beds in migrant detention centers. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reacted negatively to the proposal, citing budget and liability reasons, and the legal department finally said in February that the plan was inappropriate, the Post reports.

In a statement, the White House said "this was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion." A spokeswoman for Pelosi said the "extent of this administration's cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated. Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable."