The Trump White House not once but twice tried to convince ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, to capture migrants from the caravans crossing Central America into the United States, then bus and dump them on the streets of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional district as political payback.
ICE, as The Washington Post notes in its exclusive reporting, was forced to deny the request, telling the Trump White House it would be inappropriate.
The aim of the Trump administration's ploy was both political payback, attacking the popular House Speaker who had been turning the tables on President Donald Trump, as well as an attempt to demonize sanctuary cities.
White House officials "tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of 'sanctuary cities' to retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages reviewed by The Washington Post."
Since before he was elected President Trump has falsely painted sanctuary cities – areas of the country who refuse to hand over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities without a warrant – as crime-infested danger zones. Studies show that sanctuary cities are no more or less crime ridden than non sanctuary cities.
“The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” Speaker Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne told the Post. “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.”