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Mayors call Trump’s bluff on sending migrants to sanctuary cities

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Democratic mayors of major cities across the US appear to be calling President Donald Trump’s bluff on his threat to release detained migrants into so-called sanctuary cities.

“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement on Friday. “This White House plan demonstrates the utter contempt that the Trump Administration has for basic human dignity.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed ripped into Trump in a statement on Friday, calling his plan “just another scare tactic.”

“Like so many issues we are forced to talk about during this presidency, this isn’t a real idea or a real proposal, it’s just another scare tactic,” Breed said. “Yes, immigration is an important issue and we need legislative reform, but that’s not what this President is talking about.”

The San Francisco mayor added, “We are proud to be a Sanctuary City and continue to put forward proposals to support our immigrant communities.” She went on to accuse Trump of distracting from “the millions of people in this country who are falling behind.”

Read more: A Getty photographer tells the story behind a heartbreaking photo he took of a migrant girl sobbing while agents questioned her mom at the border, which just won World Press Photo of the Year

Similarly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a Thursday tweet said Trump’s “racist rhetoric couldn’t be more wrong.”

De Blasio added, “In New York City, we’ve got the highest percentage of immigrants than at any time in the last century and we’re safer and more prosperous than ever.”

In response to a report on the plan, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday night tweeted, “These are people, not pawns, Mr. President.”

Separately, in a tweet on Friday, Garcetti added, “The Trump Administration’s latest hateful idea is nothing more than a needless distraction and a waste of time.”

Trump has confirmed his administration has been contemplating releasing detained migrants into so-called sanctuary cities, or places that have policies designed to protect undocumented immigrants from being deported by the federal government.

Read more: Trump confirms he wants to release detained migrants into sanctuary cities as punishment for Democrats: ‘This should make them very happy!’

After reports surfaced suggesting Trump was considering going down this route, the president on Friday tweeted, “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 The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy — so this should make them very happy!”

This all comes amid a surge in apprehensions of migrant families at the border, and less than a week after the ousting of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security chief. Trump is apparently getting impatient with his administration’s inability to stem the flow of undocumented migrants and seems willing to embrace more aggressive immigration polices as the 2020 presidential campaign season picks up steam.

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