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As Trump threatens to ship undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities, these cities say: We will welcome them

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Confirming Friday that his administration is considering sending undocumented immigrants en masse to sanctuary cities, President Donald Trump framed the proposal as a threat—but several politicians and rights advocates replied that immigrants would be welcome in those communities.

The president announced that the White House is weighing the proposal hours after the Washington Post reported that it had been considered and then rejected last year.

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“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted.

At least one sanctuary city mayor, Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, responded that he would happily welcome any number of immigrants sent to his city.

“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” Kenney said in a statement. “This White House plan demonstrates the utter contempt that the Trump administration has for basic human dignity.”

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Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland expressed pride in her city’s status as one that bars all city employees from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and condemned the president for focusing his immigration agenda on keeping immigrants out of the United States.

“I am proud to be the mayor of a sanctuary city,” Schaaf told CNN. “We believe sanctuary cities are safer cities. We embrace the diversity in Oakland and we do not think it’s appropriate for us to use local resources to do the government’s failed immigration work.”

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Much of the response to the Post‘s earlier reporting centered around what an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the White House’s “despicable” attempt to use human beings as pawns to demonize immigrants.

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As Libby Watson noted at Splinter, much of the corporate media’s reporting on the plan followed the narrative laid out by the Trump administration—that sending undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities would be an “attack” on those cities and their Democratic leaders.

“A premise like ‘busing migrants to San Francisco will punish Nancy Pelosi’ is not self-explanatory,” Watson wrote. “I do not immediately understand the mechanism by which releasing a tired, huddled mass of immigrants in cities with massive populations—and cities where asylum approval rates are much higher—would punish their representatives.”

“The framing is left as ‘the presence of migrants in cities will be bad for those cities.’ And in the end, that just does Stephen Miller’s work for him,” she added, referring to Trump’s policy adviser who has pushed for hard-line, xenophobic immigration policies.

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Julia Carrie Wong, a technology reporter for the Guardian, echoed Watson’s concerns.

“Let’s not concede that having refugees in our cities is something to be threatened by,” Wong tweeted.

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After Trump announced the plan was again under consideration Friday, critics noted that sending immigrants to sanctuary cities would simply be using the cities and their laws as they were intended.

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2020 Election

These corporations are spending the most to undo our democracy — thanks to Citizens United

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It has now been exactly 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for special-interest political advertising in its Citizens United ruling. To mark the occasion, the Center for Responsive Politics has published an excellent report detailing how political spending has changed over the last decade.

One significant finding is that, although Citizens United overturned the prohibition on independent political expenditures by corporations, most companies have not taken advantage of that new right directly. The biggest surges in spending have come from wealthy individuals and from Super PACs.

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‘Erratic, reckless, impulsive and destructive’: Group of psychiatrists urge a evaluation of Trump as he poses ‘a maximum danger’

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A Yale psychiatrist leads a group of medical professionals who have called on Congress to demand that President Donald Trump undergo a mental health evaluation after he ordered a drone strike that killed top Iranian military official Qassem Soleimani.

Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who has consulted widely with state and international governments on a public health approach to violence prevention in communities and in prisons, told Salon that Congress should convene a panel of mental health experts to determine Trump's fitness for office. Lee serves as the president of the World Mental Health Coalition, which issued a statement formally calling on Congress to convene a panel of mental health experts to assess Trump's fitness.

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Michael Avenatti says he has El Chapo’s former jail cell — which the drug dealer described as ‘torture’: report

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Attorney Michael Avenatti, the colorful attorney who came to prominence representing Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump, is unhappy with his jail conditions.

On Monday, his attorney wrote to the federal judge overseeing his trial to complain about the jail conditions Avenatti is experiencing during pre-trial detention.

Scott Srebnick, Avenatti's attorney, wrote to Judge Paul Gardephe to complain about the "notorious 10-South" section of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is being held in the Special Housing Unit.

"He is in a cell reportedly once occupied by El Chapo, on a floor that houses individuals charged with terrorism offenses," Avenatti's attorney wrote.

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