sunny.png
Monday April 22nd, 2019 2:26PM

Trump considered sending migrants to Democratic strongholds

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has at least twice considered a plan to release detained immigrants into "sanctuary cities," three people familiar with the idea confirmed Friday — a plan that critics branded as an effort to use migrants as pawns to go after political opponents.

The idea of pressing immigration authorities to embrace the plan was discussed in November and then again in February as the Trump administration struggled with a surge of migrants at the border, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline private conversations. Department of Homeland Security lawyers quickly rejected the proposal, according to the people, and it was dropped.

So-called sanctuary cities are places where local authorities do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, denying information or resources that would help ICE round up people living in the country illegally.

They include New York City and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco, who on Friday called the idea "unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people, to address who we are — a nation of immigrants."

The plan, which was first reported by the Washington Post, is one of many ideas considered by an increasingly frustrated White House in recent months as President Donald Trump has railed against the growing number of Central American migrant families crossing the southern border. Officials say they are running out of options, and have proposed and recycled numerous ideas that have never come to fruition. Trump in recent weeks has discussed the idea of renewing his administration's controversial family separation policy. And he and aides are weighing forcing asylum-seeking families to choose between being detained together as their cases make their way through the courts or sending their children to government-run shelters.

There were at least two versions of the sanctuary city plan that were considered, according to one of the people familiar with the effort. One would have moved people who had already been detailed and were being held elsewhere to places with Democratic opponents of the president, while the other would have transported migrants apprehended at the border directly to San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and other spots.

Revelation of the idea drew immediate condemnation on Friday from Pelosi and other Democrats.

The No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, criticized the idea of using ICE or any other federal agency "to penalize" or "for political reasons."

"That's not the act of a democratic government," he said.

And Rep. Bennie Thompson, D- Mississippi, who chairs the House Homeland Security committee, said: "The fact that this idea was even considered - not once but twice - serves as a reminder that the Trump Administration's reckless immigration agenda is not about keeping the country safe, but about partisan politics and wantonly inflicting cruelty. "

A Homeland Security spokesperson played down the reported idea, saying it was "floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion." A White House official echoed that language.

Former ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence, who on Friday was announced as the agency's acting director, denied that the White House pressured immigration officials to implement the idea.

"I was asked my opinion and provided it, and my advice was heeded," he said in a statement.

The Department of Health and Human Services said this week that it had started scouting vacant properties that could be turned into facilities for holding migrant children in several cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

Those facilities would be licensed by each state and likely take several months to be approved and opened, separating them from the rapidly-expanding emergency shelter at Homestead, Florida, and the now-closed tent facility at Tornillo, Texas.

The Defense Department has also been reviewing a number of military bases to find a location that can house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children as the U.S. braces for a surge of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this spring. Health and Human Services submitted the request for space last month, as Homeland Security leaders warned that tens of thousands of families were crossing the border each month. HHS has traditionally been responsible for providing temporary shelter to unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border.

ICE is tasked with arresting people living in the country illegally — including some who have been here for decades. Under the Trump administration, ICE has significantly stepped up arrests, including of people who have no U.S. criminal records.

In response, some cities have banished ICE from jails where agents could easily pick up immigration violators. Police in New York, Baltimore and Seattle rarely, if ever, disclose information about when suspected criminals in the U.S. illegally will be released from custody.

During his tenure at the Justice Department, Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions went after sanctuary cities, threatening to cut off their federal funding.

ICE arrested 32,977 people accused of crimes and 20,464 for immigration violations during the budget year 2018. There were 105,140 arrests of people with criminal convictions and 158,581 arrests overall. The most frequent criminal conviction was for drunken driving, followed by drug and traffic offenses.

By comparison, in the last budget year of the Obama administration, there were 94,751 people arrested with convictions, 6,267 arrests of those with pending charges and 9,086 on immigration violations. There were 111,104 arrests overall.

__

Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant, Lisa Mascaro and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Politics, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump considered sending migrants to Democratic strongholds
The White House considered going after political opponents by pushing U.S. immigration authorities to release detained immigrants in "sanctuary cities."
10:29AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Alabama inmate who wanted nitrogen spared lethal injection
An Alabama inmate convicted in the 1991 sword-and-dagger slaying of a pastor was spared a lethal injection when his death warrant expired, two hours before a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay of his execution early Friday
10:16AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Chevron vaults into new league on $33B Anadarko acquisition
Chevron to spend $33 billion on Anadarko Petroleum as US energy prices take off
10:12AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Buttigieg goes from cordial to critical of Pence on campaign
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a cordial relationship with Mike Pence when Pence was the Republican governor, but as a Democratic presidential contender Buttigieg has become critical of him
9:40AM ( 54 minutes ago )
House Democrats cheer wins of 1st 100 days, ponder stumbles
House Democrats are taking stock of their accomplishments during the first 100 days of their new majority while also noting their stumbles
9:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump considered dumping migrants in Democratic strongholds
The White House considered going after political opponents by pushing U.S. immigration authorities to release detained immigrants in "sanctuary cities."
9:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Wells Fargo's 1Q profits rise 14%, beating analyst forecasts
Wells Fargo, the consumer banking giant, says its profits rose by 16% from a year earlier
9:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
China seeks to reassure Europe at Croatia summit
China's prime minister has promised that his government will respect European standards and fair trade, seeking to allay concerns that it's flouting EU competition rules with huge investments on the continent
8:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Detention of Nissan's ex-chair Ghosn extended to April 22
The detention of Nissan's former Chairman Carlos Ghosn on suspicion of financial misconduct has been approved through April 22
7:57AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Alabama inmate who wanted nitrogen spared lethal injection
An Alabama inmate convicted in the 1991 sword-and-dagger slaying of a pastor was spared a lethal injection when his death warrant expired, two hours before a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay of his execution early Friday
10:16AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Chevron vaults into new league on $33B Anadarko acquisition
Chevron to spend $33 billion on Anadarko Petroleum as US energy prices take off
10:12AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Spring storm lingers after burying parts of Midwest in snow
Strong winds and more snow are expected in parts of the Midwest after a spring storm buried several states in snow and created dangerous travel conditions
10:07AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Lightning look to bounce back from Game 1 collapse
The Tampa Bay Lightning faced little adversity in the regular season on the way to a record-tying 62 wins and the most points in a season in 23 years
9:49AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Traditional Hawaiian creation chant used to name black hole
A language professor has tapped a traditional Hawaiian chant to name the black hole depicted in an image produced in a landmark experiment Wednesday
9:47AM ( 46 minutes ago )