President Donald Trump said on Friday he was considering sending illegal immigrants in the country to so-called sanctuary cities, prompting U.S. mayors to accept such an offer as the battle over border security raged.
Frustrated by rising numbers of undocumented immigrants arriving at the southern border and a failure to get Congress to fully fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump taunted Democrats by dangling the possibility of an influx of illegal immigrants into their communities.
“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney responded in a statement: “While the Trump administration’s proposal shows their disdain to basic human dignity, the City (Philadelphia) would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades.”
In February, a federal appeals court said the Trump administration could not terminate federal grants to Philadelphia for its refusal to cooperate with immigration agents seeking to deport immigrants.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement “We would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar.”
Sanctuary cities are local jurisdictions that generally give undocumented immigrants safe harbour by refusing to use their resources to help enforce federal immigration laws that could lead to deportations.
Those localities argue that it is not their responsibility to get involved in federal enforcement and that doing so could hinder policing efforts within communities.
The Washington Post first reported on Thursday that the White House has been considering a plan for transporting immigrants in detention and releasing them into sanctuary cities that are Democratic strongholds…Continue Reading