On at least two occasions in the last six months, the White House considered releasing immigrant detainees onto the streets of sanctuary cities as a way to target President Trump’s political foes, The Washington Post reported.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) district in San Francisco was one of the primary targets, Department of Homeland Security officials told the Post. The Post obtained emails that show the idea was first floated in November when a migrant caravan was approaching the U.S.-Mexico border. White House officials reportedly thought this would help relieve the shortage of space for housing immigrants caught crossing the border illegally, and give them an opportunity to jab Democrats.
But Immigration and Customs Enforcement shot down the idea and suggested there would be legal, budgetary and “PR risks” to carrying it out. When the administration tried to raise the idea again in February, ICE’s attorneys called it “inappropriate,” in the Post’s words.
The White House told the Post in a statement that this was “just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.”