New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he plans to sue the Trump administration over the new plan to send illegal immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities.
President Donald Trump confirmed on April 12 that he was considering a plan to take aliens who are apprehended after illegally crossing the southwest border and transport them to the cities, which include New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump wrote in a missive on Twitter.
“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy—so this should make them very happy!”
Sanctuary cities have various restrictions on how local law enforcement officers can cooperate with federal immigration officers, arguing that immediately deporting illegal immigrants can lead to fewer people cooperating as witnesses with police. Critics say that the policies lead to illegal immigrant criminals being let loose, resulting in a slew of crimes across the cities.
In response to Trump’s proposal, mayors of a host of cities—all heavily Democratic—said that they would welcome illegal immigrants.
“As a welcoming city, we would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement.
Others voiced concerns about the impact of so many immigrants pouring into cities, including Cher and de Blasio, the New York mayor who has rumored presidential aspirations.
“It’s illegal. It’s just plain illegal. We will meet him in court. We will beat him in court,” de Blasio told NY1 in an interview on Monday night.
“I remember vividly the day early in the Trump administration when he said he was going to cut our security funding because we did not ask documentation status, because we would not cooperate with everything ICE was doing,” he continued. “We said we would go to court and stop him, we did. So this is just patently illegal. We’ll stop it.”
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, though, was among those saying that Trump’s proposed move would be legal.
“It’s absolutely legal,” Judd said during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Sunday. “But I’m going to get beaten up by the hard left for this comment. But this is actually a brilliant move on the president’s part.”
Judd went on to detail the “two layers” he saw at work in the proposed plan.
“If he’s doing it for humanitarian purposes, he should be praised. These are cities that the city councils have consciously made a decision they’re going to accept the illegal aliens into their cities to protect them,” Judd said.
“If he’s doing it for political reasons, this is brilliant. These people have to be released for one reason or another. And if we’re going to have to release them, why not show the sanctuary cities the same pressure that other cities are feeling.”