This is like a Democratic president proposing a new tax on red states only to cover the Pentagon’s budget. “You’re the ones who think a strong military is important, right? Fine, then you pay for it.”
Also, a core criticism of sanctuary cities by border hawks is that they’re magnets for illegal immigration. In that case, we should be able to drop illegals off pretty much wherever and trust that they’ll make their way to big blue safe havens eventually on their own.
The best part of these tweets is the fact that WaPo’s story last night is full of quotes from sources not only warning that this can’t be done legally or logistically but assuring the paper that the idea has already been ruled out. Change of plans from the Oval Office: It hasn’t been ruled out.
The courts are likely to rule it out, though:
Trump now confirms he’s considering something a former DHS official *in his administration* told me is “so illegal.” https://t.co/VinjYMkdaD
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) April 12, 2019
More from the WaPo piece:
A formal legal review was never completed, according to two DHS officials familiar with the events, but senior ICE attorneys told [acting deputy director Matthew] Albence and others that the plan was inappropriate and lacked a legal basis.
“If we would have done that, we would have had to expend transportation resources, and make a decision that we’re going to use buses, planes, etc., to send these aliens to a place for whatever reason,” a senior DHS official said. “We had to come up with a reason, and we did not have one.”…
The sanctuary city proposal ran contrary to ICE policy guidelines, as well as legal counsel. ICE officials balked at the notion of moving migrants to detention facilities in different areas, insisting that Congress only authorizes the agency to deport immigrants, not relocate them internally, according to DHS officials.
What if there’s an accident in the course of one of these unnecessary and illegal trips aimed at exacting political revenge on open-borders Democrats, Albence allegedly wondered? Remember that federal agents can face personal liability when they act outside their legal authority, as border agents were recently reminded when Trump nudged them to ignore the judges on border policies. Presumably Kirstjen Nielsen warned Trump personally at some point that trying to punish Dems by dumping illegals in their home districts, or in sanctuary cities, would end up in another embarrassing courtroom defeat. Trump ended up firing her because he’s willing to shoot the messenger when the messenger only seems to have bad news.
We’ve reached the point of immigration paralysis, though, where the fact that an action is unlawful might actually be attractive to Trump rhetorically. If he can’t get the wall funding he wants and he can’t do family separation without political blowback and he can’t get ICE’s lawyers to agree that dropping illegals off in blue districts is okay, he can at least make lots of noise about wanting to do those things to reassure righties that he’s doing everything he can on this issue and everything he can to punish Democrats for their garbage open-borders approach in the face of crisis. The worse the crush at the border gets, the more urgently he’ll want to signal that he’s willing to consider any option, including illegal ones, to stem the tide. That’ll help solidify his support in advance of Democrats arguing next year that the border has gotten worse since Trump became president, not better. And it’ll remind populists that “he fights.” Even if he can’t get his way on border security, he can at least bellow that he intends to stick it to Democrats by making their home districts destinations for detained illegals before a judge affirms that he can’t. It’s basically kabuki at this point.
Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, is thinking about potential solutions here, particularly the fact that any legislation to tighten asylum laws and fund more detention centers will require Pelosi’s buy-in. Sounds like he’s thinking … big:
“I think it’s way past time for us to have an adult bipartisan discussion about our immigration laws and see what we can agree to,” he told reporters in an afternoon briefing in his office.
Asked if that means he would entertain the broad “comprehensive immigration reform” approach Democrats say is necessary, Mr. McConnell signaled an openness.
“I’m willing to enter into a negotiation to see what we can do to fix the problems,” he said.
Is amnesty on the table? What sort of amnesty? The DREAM Act wasn’t enough to get Trump wall funding (or at least not after he turned down a deal by insisting on cuts to legal immigration as part of it too) but a mega-amnesty for all illegals in return for asylum reform, wall funding, maybe E-Verify, etc, would be, uh, interesting. Just tell me how Trump ends up being persuaded to sign a bill like that. He was baited into the longest shutdown in American history almost singlehandedly by Ann Coulter. Legalizing millions of illegals, even in return for serious enforcement measures, would be treated by hardcore border hawks as the betrayal to end all betrayals. One or two stern Tucker Carlson monologues and Trump would run screaming from it. I don’t know why McConnell would float the possibility even hypothetically.
“We are giving very strong consideration to having people, after a 20 day period–because legally we’re not allowed to hold them for more than that–we will move them to sanctuary cities.” -President Trump on plan to release immigrants in DHS custody in sanctuary cities. pic.twitter.com/XYa6b7bCg0
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 12, 2019