President Trump has a gift for California. Unfortunately, the state might not be such a willing recipient.
In a tweet Saturday night, the president said that his administration had the power to transfer illegal immigrants captured at the border to sanctuary cities and that he would prefer they be sent to the Golden State.
“Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities,” Trump tweeted.
“We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!”
Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2019
In an appearance on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley defended the suggestion, which had seen significant coverage in the press late in the week.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) April 14, 2019
“They are telling us you cannot keep family units who come here illegally and unlawfully at the southern border. You can’t keep them at detention facilities. You can’t deport them. The only thing you can do is as an administration is release them into American communities,” Gidley said.
“So, the president said, listen, there are sanctuary cities out there where Democrats have said we welcome any and all whether they criminals, whether they are here illegally, seeking asylum, regardless. Anybody who disagrees with us is racist.
“So, the president said fine, I’ve got a great idea. We’d love to work with you guys to figure out exactly the best way to transport these people were here illegally and unlawfully and into your communities and your districts and your states.”
According to The Hill, Gidley also referred to the policy as an “olive branch.”
“We’re working with DHS, we’re working with ICE, to try and make sure that happens because after all, it’s what they want,” Gidley said. “They should not say, ‘This is retribution politically,’ they should say, ‘This is an olive branch.’”
That’s obviously not what they’re saying.
“I don’t know anything about it, but again, it’s just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a county, as a people, to address who we are: a nation of immigrants,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — arguably California’s most powerful politician — said about the proposed policy.
“What the President is talking about here is spending taxpayer dollars to use immigrant families — mothers, fathers and young children — as pawns for political retribution. This is both morally repugnant and probably illegal,” New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, head of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted.
What the President is talking about here is spending taxpayer dollars to use immigrant families—mothers, fathers and young children—as pawns for political retribution. This is both morally repugnant and probably illegal. https://t.co/6l3PgF2eg8
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) April 12, 2019
Now, my assumption is that the likelihood this plan happens is roughly zero. Beyond the fact that it’s legally thorny at best, it would also bring up far too many negative associations if put into practice.
When The Washington Post originally reported on the plan Thursday, it mentioned both the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were exceptionally bearish on the plan, to say the least.
In fact, the White House had said in a statement that “(t)his was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.”
However, Trump said in response that the plan was still under consideration:
….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
With the information we have, that leaves two possible situations: Either the administration really isn’t on the same page here, or it wanted to see the Democrats’ hypocrisy in full bloom. Given the fact that they’ve managed to bring that hypocrisy out in its purest form, I’d say it’s the latter.
California, after all, provides subsidized health insurance and in-state tuition to public universities to illegal immigrants; Los Angeles County paid out $1.3 billion in welfare payments to undocumented aliens in 2015 and 2016 alone. This doesn’t seem to bother many of California’s politicians. With the border crisis, why wouldn’t they welcome them?
This policy may be unlikely to happen, but the mere suggestion of it seems to have done its job as intended.