Donald Trump Wanted to Dump Asylum Seekers on Streets of Democratic Cities

Jim Loscalzo/CNP via ZUMA

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Just when you think Donald Trump can’t surprise you anymore with his boorish behavior, he takes things to a whole new level:

White House officials have 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….House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was among those the White House wanted to target, according to DHS officials. The administration also considered releasing detainees in other Democratic strongholds.

….The attempt at political retribution raised alarm within ICE, with a top official responding that it was rife with budgetary and liability concerns, and noting that “there are PR risks as well.” After the White House pressed again in February, ICE’s legal department rejected the idea as inappropriate and rebuffed the administration.

I don’t even know what to say about this stuff anymore. Immigration hawks all voted for Trump because he kept chanting “Build the wall,” seemingly unaware that he was doing it only because it got loud cheers at his rallies and Trump loves it when people cheer for him. Beyond that, he has no clue about policy beyond a desire for revenge against anyone who’s ever crossed him. Why the hawks ever thought he’d follow through with something that might actually reduce illegal immigration remains a mystery.

As for dumping asylum seekers onto the streets of Democratic districts, it’s politics on the level of a third-grader. But it doesn’t matter. I assume, as usual, that virtually no one in the Republican Party will say a peep about it.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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