Democrats are still fuming over President Trumps reported plan to send illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities such as San Francisco. Nancy Pelosi called the idea “despicable.”
Other Democrats have been quick to frame the narrative as Whitehouse “weaponizing” immigrants, a term that was first used early in Trump’s calls to strengthen our borders.
Last Friday, President said he is “strongly looking at” the proposed idea of transporting the flood of immigrants illegally crossing our southern border to so-called sanctuary cities that have refused to cooperate with federal authorities.
Trump told reporters at the White House that if the Democrat leaders of those municipalities and districts are sincere about welcoming immigrants, “we can give them an unlimited supply … They’re always saying they have open arms. Let’s see if they have open arms.”
Despite her past rhetoric, Pelosi blasted the plan. Her spokeswoman Ashley Etienne 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.”
The political gamesmanship is hard to miss.
Pelosi has led the way in her support of cities like Oakland and San Francisco by framing the issue as Trump’s supposed “callousness” toward the women and children coming from Central America vs progressive leader’s openness.
This followed a speech given by Trump at the Safe Neighborhoods Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 7, where he said, “These outrageous sanctuary cities are grave threats to public safety and national security. Each year, sanctuary cities release thousands of known criminal aliens from their custody and right back into the community. So they put them in, and they have them, and they let them go, and it drives you people a little bit crazy, doesn’t it, huh?”
The Washington Post reported last week that “several” DHS whistleblowers confirm The White House has been deliberating the idea for several months.
Stephen Miller, Senior Trump adviser has acknowledged he considered the idea presented by ICE last November. In a statement, he said, “As the Acting Deputy I was not pressured by anyone at the White House on this issue. I was asked my opinion and provided it and my advice was heeded.”
Despite the feigned anger of Democrats like Pelosi, the Trump administration is determined to step up the pressure on Congress and DHS to deal with the thousands of illegal immigrants being released at the nearest point possible until they can be processed.
Homeland Security officials say the plan to release illegals into sanctuary cities did not come easily. It is the result instead of the political pressure Trump has put on DHS to fulfill its mission. The plan to move illegals to sanctuary cities was one of several offered to the President.
“It was basically an idea that Miller wanted that nobody else wanted to carry out,” said one congressional investigator who has spoken to one of the whistleblowers. “What happened here is that Stephen Miller called people at ICE, said if they’re going to cut funding, you’ve got to make sure you’re releasing people in Pelosi’s district and other congressional districts.”
What Pelosi doesn’t want the public to know is that the idea would have never had come up were it not for her refusal to negotiate during the three-month government shutdown.
During that time, the Democrat-controlled House held all funds needed to add detention beds hostage by refusing any negotiations on Trump’s wall.
“It was retaliation, to show them, ‘Your lack of cooperation has impacts,’” said one of the DHS officials. “I think they thought it would put pressure on those communities to understand, I guess, a different perspective on why you need more immigration money for detention beds.”
Trump administrating paused the “release” plan when Congress suddenly “found” money for detention beds after the shutdown.
Since that time ICE has held approaching 50,000 immigrant detainees, an all-time high that has further strained the agency’s budget. Due to rulings by mainly liberal district courts like the 9th, the vast majority of recent migrants (many with children) have been quickly processed and released. Hence, “catch and release.”
This vicious cycle of creating a problem and blaming Trump for it may have found its end here.
House Democrats pressed for a lower number of detainee beds. Now Trump seems ready to call their bluff and see just how “opened armed” they are.