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story.lead_photo.caption President Donald Trump gives thumbs up as his motorcade arrives near Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, April 15, 2019. Trump is heading to Minnesota to tout the 2017 tax law. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump suggested Monday that his threat to ship migrants to so-called sanctuary cities is taking effect, even though it remains unclear whether such a plan is feasible.

"Those Illegal Immigrants who can no longer be legally held (Congress must fix the laws and loopholes) will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!" Trump tweeted just days after aides insisted the plan had been shelved.

Neither the White House nor Department of Homeland Security immediately responded to requests for comment Monday. And it's unclear whether DHS has taken any steps to implement the controversial plan. Lawyers there had previously told the White House that the idea was unfeasible and a misuse of funds. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is already strapped for cash.

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, had said during a pair of Sunday show appearances that the idea was just one option under consideration.

"Whether or not it moves forward, that's yet to be determined," she said on Fox, acknowledging that the idea had been rejected by DHS lawyers several times.

"The president heard the idea, he likes it, so - well, we're looking to see if there are options that make it possible and doing a full and thorough and extensive review.," she said on ABC.

At the same time, Democrats on Monday asked the White House and agency officials for internal documents on the administration's deliberations on its proposal to send detained migrants to "sanctuary cities" — cities and districts that don't cooperate with federal immigration officials and which are mostly Democratic strongholds.

"Not only does the administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the president and senior administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons," read the letter, which was signed by three House committee chairmen.

The letter said the plan seemed aimed at targeting Democratic areas "in a bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points," citing news reports.

The proposal was rejected twice by administration officials, but Trump has defended the idea.

"The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities," Trump tweeted Saturday as part of his larger push to tighten immigration laws and try to stop the flow of migrants across the southern border.

The plan comes as the administration has said it's been overwhelmed by a flood of migrant families, largely from Central America, attempting to cross the southwestern border. The U.S. Border Patrol said the number of families apprehended in March, 53,000, set a new record, though Democrats say the administration is worsening the problem by aggressively detaining people caught entering illegally and limiting the number of applicants for refugee status who are processed.

The letter requests all relevant documents from Nov. 1, 2018, through Monday. It asks for them by May 3.

The letter was sent by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. It was sent to Mick Mulvaney, White House acting chief of staff, and Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

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Comments

  • RBear
    April 15, 2019 at 12:20 p.m.

    No money to execute this idiotic proposal, yet Trump loves to dog whistle to his base with crazy things like this. I can't wait to see all the little doggies in here come running which they will.

  • Illinoisroy
    April 15, 2019 at 12:35 p.m.

    He should have to reveal costs of such a proposal, the let's see how many of the right would really sup[port this adolescent proposal.

  • Dontcallmenames
    April 15, 2019 at 12:46 p.m.

    What a great show of bipartisanship! Both sides get what they want!

  • SWAL
    April 15, 2019 at 1:14 p.m.

    Exactly DONTCALLMENAMES.
    These cities get the labor that POPMOM says they need.
    If they are just hardworking families then they increase the tax base.
    If the percentage of criminals is lower than any other group as RBEAR claims then who wouldn't want them?
    And if there is no problem at the border then why the outrage..?

  • 2thepoint
    April 15, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.

    The president of the United States is all about getting even. Too busy to do the work that would make our country better.

  • RBear
    April 15, 2019 at 2:29 p.m.

    To the points of the right wingers, so tell us how this will be funded to move these people from the border to these cities. Trump is the one demanding it. The cities he's targeting should NOT have to pay to transport these individuals to the cities.

  • mrcharles
    April 15, 2019 at 3:31 p.m.

    just like the tariff tough talk that the non thinkers want, DT policies hurt merica. many of his buyer of the snake oil he sold now regret the appealing to a variety of fears they had made them think a 6 time bankrupt thing would do good.

    This action is pure childish puffery, but his supporters are of this ILK, showmanship over substance [ see the Nobel prize not won for the non N. Korean historic nothingness accomplished by him and his beautiful letter writer] .

    as we know russia increased their soybean sales to china threefold, while usa farmers, well we know things are bad that they have to be promised bribes to keep supporting the DT.

    Can you believe a man who believes Putin? Shouldnt but the right here does.
    as to the dog whistle and the DT little doggies, they will need to bring their doggie bags to pick after themselves after this business gets done, if done.

  • Popsmith
    April 15, 2019 at 3:59 p.m.

    Calling thier bluff! LOL

  • BoudinMan
    April 15, 2019 at 4:27 p.m.

    So, does this mean that trump now supports illegal immigration? He's going to take people, who he believes are here illegally, and place them in areas of the U.S. to live? Sounds to me like his brain is being eaten up by syphilis. Many people say.

  • FarmerBill
    April 15, 2019 at 4:45 p.m.

    This makes a lot of sense. Relieves the burden on the border cities and counties that are being overwhelmed, while providing more labor for the sanctuary cities with a demographic coming that has a lower crime rate, at least according to RBear. The new arrivals would surely be safer in a place that wants them. Transportation? Charter buses, military transport aircraft (good training), go fund me, or direct government funding. Think outside the box. Hey, we just spent $50 Million for the Mueller investigation and what have we got out of that? Legal? Remember the Vietnamese and Cuban refugees coming to Ft Chaffee back in the 70s? Don’t recall anybody asking Arkansas for our permission to do that. It did lead to a rare defeat at the polls for governor Bill Clinton. Maybe that’s what Pelosi and Schumer are most worried about.

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