Trump considers sending migrants to ‘sanctuary cities’ - GulfToday

Trump considers sending migrants to ‘sanctuary cities’

Trump

Trump’s announcement on Twitter reversed a previous White House assurance that the idea.

US President Donald Trump said Friday he is seriously considering funneling detained illegal migrants into the self-declared sanctuary cities that oppose his tough immigration policies.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter reversed a previous White House assurance that the idea − criticised as political retribution against cities led by opposition Democrats − had been dropped.

“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,” Trump said.

“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy − so this should make them very happy!” he tweeted.

The Washington Post revealed the proposal, which would mark a new flashpoint in the ever growing political divide over immigration.

Trump has staked his presidency on his insistence that the United States is being overrun by migrants and asylum seekers.

But opponents, mostly in the Democratic Party, say his push for building more walls on the Mexican border and his almost daily denunciations of migrants as dangerous criminals incite racial hatred.

In comments to reporters later, Trump said that he wanted Congress, where the House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats, to tighten visas and streamline the deportation process.

Otherwise, he warned, he’ll order migrants to be dumped on the sanctuary cities.

“If they don’t agree we might as well do what they say they want.... We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it,” he said. “We can give them an unlimited supply.”

And late Friday, he reiterated his call for a “merit” based immigration system.

“If the Radical Left Democrats all of a sudden don’t want the Illegal Migrants in their Sanctuary Cities (no more open arms), why should others be expected to take them into their communities?” he tweeted.

Sanctuary cities are places where local authorities − usually Democratic-run − have refused to hand over undocumented immigrants for deportation.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed dismissed Trump’s proposal.

“This is just another in a long line of scare tactics and half-baked ideas that are just about chasing headlines and distracting people from real issues,” she tweeted.

Citing homeland security officials and leaked emails, the Post said White House officials first broached the plan in November, asking several agencies whether members of a caravan of migrants could be arrested at the border and then bussed “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities.”

The White House told the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that the plan was intended to alleviate a shortage of detention space, but would also send a message to Democrats, the Post said.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has agreed to allow approximately 2,700 children living in Central America to be reunited with their parents in the United States under a court settlement announced on Friday, according to court documents.

The settlement follows a lawsuit that challenged a decision in 2017 by Trump’s administration to shut down a programme that allowed children living in Central America to be reunited with parents residing legally in the United States.

The Central American Minors programme, which began in 2014, allowed parents living legally in the United States to request refugee status for their children residing in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Many of the parents are in the United States under the so-called temporary protected status, which allows immigrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters, civil conflicts or other problems to stay in the United States.

Last month, US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco ordered the government to resume processing children who had been conditionally approved for the programme when it was terminated by the Trump administration.

Agencies