Apr 13, 2019

What they're saying: "Sanctuary city" mayors welcome Trump's latest immigration idea

Trump visits Border Patrol McAllen Station in McAllen, Texas, on January 10, 2019. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said his administration is strongly considering placing "illegal immigrants" in sanctuary cities on Friday, marking an increase in the extremity of his immigration ideas.

Be smart: Senior White House officials and immigration lawyers have told Axios that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would not have enough funds for this and there would be major liabilities if anyone got hurt while being transferred. Regardless, Democratic mayors have said their cities would welcome migrants immigrants if Trump's idea came to fruition.

What they're saying:

  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: “The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades."
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “As a welcoming city, we would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar."
  • Mayor Marc McGovern of Cambridge, Massachusetts: “I am proud that Cambridge is a sanctuary city. ... Trump is a schoolyard bully who tries to intimidate and threaten people. I’m not intimidated and if asylum seekers find their way to Cambridge, we’ll welcome them.”
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed: “Like so many issues we are forced to talk about during this presidency, this isn’t a real idea or a real proposal, it’s just another scare tactic."
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler: “Humans are not pawns. This is not a game. These are people’s lives ... Portland will continue to protect its sanctuary status in accordance with Oregon law and the U.S. Constitution. We strongly denounce the cruel efforts of this administration to retaliate against sanctuary cities.”
  • Mayor Daniel Drew of Middletown, Connecticut: “It’s a sign of the president’s tremendous weakness as an executive and weakness as a leader, and of the degree to which he pales in comparison to all of his recent predecessors."
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: “He uses people like pawns ... New York City will always be the ultimate city of immigrants – the President’s empty threats won’t change that.”
  • Mayor Steven Hernandez of Coachella, California: “We have already been working alongside partners to ensure that recently arrived families, women and children get the services they need to make their successful transition into America."

Go deeper: Furious Trump targets Democratic "sanctuary cities"

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