White House cool to sanc­tu­ary city threat

The Bradenton Herald - - Front Page - BY COLLEEN LONG

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump wants to ex­plore a twice-re­jected pro­posal to send mi­grants to “sanc­tu­ary cities,” but that is not the pre­ferred so­lu­tion to fix the strain­ing im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem, the White House said Sun­day.

Press sec­re­tary Sarah San­ders said it was one of many op­tions, though she hoped Congress would work with the pres­i­dent on a com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion over­haul.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is deal­ing with an ever-in­creas­ing num­ber of Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants cross­ing the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der, an in­flux that has pushed the im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem to the break­ing point.

Laws make it hard to quickly re­turn Cen­tral Amer­i­cans, and many of them spend years in the U.S. wait­ing for their im­mi­gra­tion cases to play out. Oth­ers claim asy­lum and wait just as long, liv­ing and work­ing in the U.S. as they wait.

“Sanc­tu­ary cities” are mostly left-lean­ing places such as New York City and San Fran­cisco where laws pro­hibit lo­cal po­lice and cor­rec­tion of­fi­cers from work­ing with im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials to help ar­rest and de­port peo­ple liv­ing here il­le­gally.

Trump seized on re­ports last week of the pro­posal that sought to send mi­grants al­ready de­tained to Demo­cratic lo­ca­tions or trans­port mi­grants that have just crossed the U.S.-Mex­ico

bor­der to sanc­tu­ary cities.

San­ders said the idea would be to spread out the num­ber of mi­grants so the strain would not be on “one or two bor­der com­mu­ni­ties.”

“The pres­i­dent likes the idea and Democrats have said they want these in­di­vid­u­als into their com­mu­ni­ties so let’s see if it works and ev­ery­body gets a win out of it,” San­ders said. “Again, this is not the ideal sit­u­a­tion.”

Trump tweeted on Satur­day evening that the U.S. had the “ab­so­lute le­gal right to have ap­pre­hended il­le­gal im­mi­grants trans­ferred to Sanc­tu­ary Cities.”

But the plan had al­ready been es­chewed twice.

Peo­ple with knowl­edge of the dis­cus­sions say it was first brought to the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity from White House staff in Novem­ber, and was again dis­cussed in Fe­bru­ary but was put down af­ter DHS of­fi­cials re­viewed it and found it was too costly and a mis­use of funds. The peo­ple were not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

More­over, it ac­tu­ally could make it more dif­fi­cult for Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment of­fi­cers to ar­rest peo­ple fac­ing de­por­ta­tion be­cause sanc­tu­ary cities do not work with ICE.

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