“This is so sick and twisted.”
Liberal celebrities, pundits and politicians expressed their displeasure after reports revealed President Donald Trump and his administration were weighing the release of immigrant detainees into San Francisco and other sanctuary cities.
According to a Thursday report in the Washington Post, the White House twice proposed sending the detainees to sanctuary cities, including the California district of Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a November email, the White House asked several agencies whether it would be possible to bus arrested migrants to “small-and mid-sized sanctuary cities.” Among other Democratic strongholds, Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was considered a target according to the Post.
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Trump confirmed on Friday that his administration had considered and is still considering implementing the plan.
Liberal actress and activist Alyssa Milano was among those disturbed by the news. “This is so sick and twisted,” she tweeted to her more than 3.5 million followers. “White House proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes.”
This is so sick and twisted.
White House proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes. https://t.co/UGg0b7630v
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 12, 2019
In a statement, Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne accused the administration of using human beings as political pawns.
“The extent of this Administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” Etienne said. “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable, and in some cases, criminal.”
“The American people have resoundingly rejected this Administration’s toxic anti-immigrant policies, and Democrats will continue to advance immigration policies that keep us safe and honor our values,” she added.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who in the past has expressed a willingness to go to jail to defend sanctuary city policies, said the president’s plan to bring immigrants to districts like her was an “outrageous abuse of power and public resources.
CNN commentator Jeffrey Toobin accused the president of using immigrants as “a pestilence to spread around the country” and called the plan “grotesque.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said the Trump administration’s proposal was “outrageous” during an appearance on CNN.
Conservatives and critics were puzzled by pro-immigrant liberals’ resistance to the president’s plan. “Why is this so ‘sick and twisted’? You fight for them – you get them!” wrote one commenter in reply to Milano. “Remember? They are human beings, they deserve help, put your money where your mouth is and help them. Close to home, so you don’t even have to travel anywhere…”
Some progressives even cheered the move. “sending migrants and refugees to cities with robust pro bono legal infrastructure and growing support for freedom of movement to own the libs,” quipped left-leaning journalist Brendan O’Connor.
GOP National spokeswoman Liz Harrington dismissed the idea floated by some Democrats that Trump was “targeting his political opponents.
“He’s just asking the Democrats to live by their own values,” she said in a tweet. “Just like they aren’t brave enough to vote for their Green New Socialist Deal, they apparently do not want any more immigrants in their ‘sanctuary’ cities.”
Harrington was referring to the Green New Deal’s failure to pass the Senate last month. In a 57-0 vote, the Senate rejected the much-hyped proposal, with 43 democrats declining to go on record as voting “yes” for the plan and instead voting “present” in accordance with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s strategy.
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