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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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