Seattle Mayor Responds to President Trump: My City 'Isn't Afraid of Immigrants'

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Trump also tweeted that relocating illegal immigrants to such areas of the country should make the "Radical Left" happy.

He says despite Trump's "disgraceful" use of people as "tools for political retribution", Philadelphia would "welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades".

As part of a plan to force Democrats to enforce more strict immigration laws, Trump threatened to engulf sanctuary cities with undocumented immigrants, sending them by bus.

"In California, the governor wants to have a lot of people coming in, refugees coming in, a lot of sanctuary cities, so we'll give them to the sanctuary cities maybe to take care of if it's that the way we want it", he said during an event at the White House.

President Donald Trump's next political maneuver could be the use of sanctuary cities.

They also highlighted that viewing such a move as punishment was unusual, since it would impact cities that already welcome more immigrants than the rest of the country, such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Homeland Security and ICE lawyers quickly rejected the proposal, according to the people, on the grounds that it was complicated, too expensive and a misuse of funds, two of the people said.

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A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said the suggestion was "floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion". "Instead of threatening immigrant families and the cities that welcome them, this President should spend a little bit more time trying to learn from us". Some of these cities have robust networks of non-profit legal groups that could help them strengthen their legal cases to stay.

"The only way we're going to fully address the current illegal immigration crisis is by the president and leaders of both parties putting politics aside and working on a legislative solution", he said.

According to a 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation crime data analysis report by Tom Wong, a professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, sanctuary cities see 15 percent less crime than those deemed non-sanctuary cities.

Former ICE deputy director Matt Albence - who once likened migrant detention centres to "summer camp," and who on Friday was announced as the agency's acting director - denied that the White House pressured immigration officials to implement the idea.

The Department of Health and Human Services said this week it had started scouting vacant properties that could be turned into facilities for holding migrant children in several cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Ariz., and San Antonio, Texas.

The Trump administration is dealing with an ever-increasing number of Central American migrants crossing the U.S. -Mexico border that has pushed the immigration system to the breaking point. Nielsen resisted and the DHS legal team eventually produced an analysis that killed the plan, which was first reported by The Washington Post. Under the Trump administration, ICE has significantly stepped up arrests, including of people who have no USA criminal records.