President Trump on Monday used a tweet by one of his outspoken celebrity critics to promote the administration’s plan to transport detained immigrants to sanctuary cities and release them there as a way to punish his political enemies.
On Sunday, Cher expressed concern over the possibility of immigrants being bused to Los Angeles.
“I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants,” she tweeted in her trademark style. “But MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN. WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000 [U.S.] Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS. PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE, & HUNGRY? If My State Can’t Take Care of Its Own (Many Are VETS) How Can it Take Care Of More.”
Trump posted a screenshot of Cher’s tweet to Twitter, adding: “I finally agree with @Cher!”
A spokeswoman for the singer and actress did not immediately return a request for comment.
Last week, the White House pushed back on reports that Trump was considering such a plan, which alarmed critics, including officials at the Department of Homeland Security, who said it would raise legal and logistical concerns.
“This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” a White House official told the Washington Post on Friday.
But hours later, the president said he was giving “strong considerations” to placing detained immigrants in sanctuary cities.
“We’ll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it, whether it’s a state or whatever it might be,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “California certainly is always saying ‘Oh, we want more people,’ and they want more people in their sanctuary cities — well, we’ll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply and let’s see if they’re so happy.”
The term “sanctuary city” refers to localities where officials generally do not inform federal immigrant agencies about undocumented immigrants who come to their attention. The intent is humanitarian and also to encourage immigrants to cooperate with police and other government agencies without fear of deportation.
Those areas have been a target since the early days of the Trump administration, when he signed an executive order attempting to deny funding to jurisdictions that did not cooperate with federal immigration officials. The order was blocked by a federal judge.
On Twitter Saturday night, Trump declared that “the USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities.”
“We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!” the president wrote.
The president issued another tweet about the policy on Monday morning.
Those Illegal Immigrants who can no longer be legally held (Congress must fix the laws and loopholes) will be, subject to Homeland Security, given to Sanctuary Cities and States!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
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