Officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) blocked a White House proposal to spotlight Central American migration by busing the migrants into Democrats’ “sanctuary city” neighborhoods, according to the Washington Post.
DHS staffers leaked the hardball proposal to Democrat legislators, the newspaper reported:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was among those the White House wanted to target, according to DHS officials. The administration also considered releasing detainees in other Democratic strongholds.
White House officials first broached the plan in a Nov. 16 email, asking officials at several agencies whether members of the caravan could be arrested at the border and then bused “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities,” places where local authorities have refused to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation.
The White House told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan was intended to alleviate a shortage of detention space but also served to send a message to Democrats. The attempt at political retribution raised alarm within ICE, with a top official responding that it was rife with budgetary and liability concerns, and noting that “there are PR risks as well.”
In response, Democrats inserted language into the 2019 budget designed to make the tactic difficult. The language grants $114 million for busing migrants in 2019, but only for delivering migrants into shelters capable of accepting the migrants:
Within the $114,147,000 increase above the fiscal year 2018 funding level for the Transportation and Removal Program, ICE is directed to provide for the transportation of migrants to such shelters based on where collaborating organizations have open sheltering capacity, including during surge periods.
President Donald Trump recently promised to take a tougher approach when he fired DHS chief Kirstjen Nielsen so the potentially powerful tactic may be deployed.
If so, the tactic would dramatically show the Democrats’ willingness to allow hundreds of thousands of poor migrants to flood into blue-collar Americans’ workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools — while also excluding the low-status migrants from upscale, status-conscious, Democrat-run districts such as San Francisco.
The plan would also spotlight the Democrats’ policy of protecting businesses by hiding migrants and even criminal migrants from repatriation by the DHS.
Democrats and progressive advocates are declaring themselves outraged at the hardball tactic:
Appalling: The White House tried using migrant families and children as pawns in a bizarre revenge plot against CA communities. The Trump Admin should stop these games, and instead join us to fix our broken immigration system and ensure just & decent treatment for every migrant. https://t.co/y6JGml2b0A
— Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (@RepRoybalAllard) April 12, 2019
“When are Democrats going to try to summon Stephen Miller to Capitol Hill and grill him under oath about his direct role in so much of the chaos, incompetence and increasingly malevolent extremism gripping the Trump administration right now?” asked Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent. He continued:
You’ll be shocked to hear that Miller was apparently involved in this affair. The Post reports that Miller “discussed the proposal with ICE.” As one congressional investigator who spoke to a whistle-blower revealing the scheme notes: “It was basically an idea that Miller wanted that nobody else wanted to carry out.”
The problem with this ugly scheme, obviously, is the use of migrants and the wielding of their fates as political tools — the idea that they can just be dumped anywhere for the express purpose of pressuring public officials from the opposing party to do Trump’s bidding. The presumption that this would pressure them is itself deeply problematic. Then there’s the proposed use of public resources for this purpose, which is arguably corrupt and legally dubious.
A New York Times columnist declared it would be “horrible” to deliver migrants into Democrats’ cities:
These people are HORRIBLE… https://t.co/lWedMtvnv6
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) April 12, 2019
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman described the story as “insane,” even though New York’s economy runs on a huge population of perhaps 500,000 low-wage migrant service-workers.
Currently, migrants are bussed from border stations to bus stations in low-rent neighborhoods far from the upscale Democrat districts. The migrants then quietly distribute themselves among blue-collar neighborhoods around the United States. In March, for example, the Arizona Republic reported:
Immigration officials dropped off about 50 more undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America, Friday morning at a Greyhound bus station near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where they were left to fend for themselves as overwhelmed volunteers sought help for them.
The group was the latest in a series of migrant drop-offs that began late last year and has been continuing on and off ever since. Local church volunteers have been working to accommodate them, but their resources have become increasingly strained.
Many of the migrants arriving Friday had been in the United States less than 24 hours. Some had waited at a port of entry at the Arizona-Mexico border for about two months to make their case for asylum.
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants, refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar guest workers, in addition to approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers, and also tolerates about eight million illegal workers and the inflow of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants.
This policy works by shifting enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts children’s schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.