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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"

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker

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