News about the Department of Homeland Security has been trickling out ever since Trump got rid of a slew of high-level officials, including DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence though).
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Trump has been pushing a plan to transport immigrants caught crossing the border illegally to sanctuary cities, including Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. The thinking from Trump and advisor Stephen Miller, it seems, was that an influx of undocumented immigrants would force Democrats to capitulate to their demands on immigration.
Current DHS staffers downplayed the story, saying the idea had only been floated and rejected and was no longer under consideration, then Trump decided to go ahead and blow all that up. Today he contradicted his administration saying that he was “giving strong consideration” to the plan.
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
....The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
And if that wasn’t good enough, he went ahead and said it on camera too:
Trump threatens that if Dems don't change immigration laws, "we'll bring the illegals - I call them the illegals - we'll bring them to sanctuary cities & let that particular area take care of it... we can give them an unlimited supply... let's see if they have open arms." pic.twitter.com/7mnxOQoa2o— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 12, 2019
Trump closes with this: "On sanctuary cities, we are giving very strong consideration to having people, after a 20-day period, because you are not allowed legally to hold them for more than that -- we will move them into sanctuary cities. Thank you very much, everybody." pic.twitter.com/6EwWLQgCzO— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 12, 2019
Obviously, this plan is insane. It’s so insane it was rejected by ICE, an agency that’s not exactly fettered by the bonds of morality or good taste. This is the kind of plan a Rush Limbaugh caller comes up with and thinks is clever as hell. It seems the president agrees.
This gambit not only shows Trump truly views immigrants as some kind of scourge to be inflicted on his enemies, but that he believes those who embrace immigrants are lying about it. He thinks Democratic politicians are just as blinkered and bigoted as he is, but can’t (or won’t) admit it.
i'm not the first person to say it, but i have trouble getting my mind around the story because it's so heavily premised on the Trumpers being high on their own supply and *genuinely* thinking immigrants are undesirable vermin https://t.co/uGh8jegxJS— Seth D. Michaels (@sethdmichaels) April 12, 2019
As for the mayor of the sanctuary cities Trump is “threatening”—they seem fine with the prospect of more immigrants. Daily Beast got in touch with the Democratic mayors of Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and more and they all said they were prepared to welcome all comers. The mayor of Portland condemned Trump’s stunt. “Humans are not pawns. This is not a game. These are people’s lives,” he said.