WASHINGTON — White House officials tried to get immigrant detainees released on the streets of sanctuary cities to target political opponents, senior government officials familiar with the matter confirm to ABC News.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, was one of the political adversaries the White House was trying to target, according to the report.
The proposal, first reported by The Washington Post, had two versions; one was to bus migrants taken into custody at the border to sanctuary cities like San Francisco and New York and the other was to move migrants who were already in ICE detention to Democratic opponents’ districts. The White House reportedly told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan was to help with a shortage of detention space, but also serve as a message to Democrats.
The whole thing raised flags with ICE and they told the administration it wasn’t going to happen.
A DHS spokesperson and White House official both sent statements to the Washington Post saying the plan is no longer under consideration.
A spokesperson House Speaker Pelosi’s office released a statement blasting the proposal.
“The extent of this Administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” said Ashley Etienne, Pelosi’s communications director.
“Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable, and in some cases, criminal,” she added. “The American people have resoundingly rejected this Administration’s toxic anti-immigrant policies, and Democrats will continue to advance immigration policies that keep us safe and honor our values.”
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