“That is so typically Trump.”
Florida Democrats were up in arms Thursday after news broke of President Donald Trump’s plan to send hundreds of undocumented immigrants per month to the Democratic strongholds of Broward County and Palm Beach County, Politico reported.
The plan, which Florida Democrats are alleging is motivated by politics, was revealed by a Broward County press release after officials were notified of the policy. Hundreds of asylum seekers caught at the border will be shipped to the two counties every week, rerouting them from overcrowded detention centers in border towns like El Paso, TX.
But Democrats are pushing back, accusing the Trump administration of punishing counties for their political leanings.
“The blatant politics, sending them to the two most Democratic Counties in the state of Florida, is ridiculous,” said Democratic state Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents Broward County. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
“That is so typically Trump,” Farmer continued. “When the facts don’t fit the narrative, you slightly adjust the narrative.”
Democratic state Rep. Evan Jenne, who also represents Broward County, was equally outraged by the news.
“He has been threatening this for a while, and I’m sure his voters will think it’s a great idea,” Jenne said. “We will do what we can to help them, I’m sure with no help from the federal government.”
Jenne said Trump’s plan was akin to “fiscal punishment.”
In a statement, Broward County said Trump “has threatened to send people who illegally cross the border to communities that are considered immigrant friendly.”
“This is a humanitarian crisis. We will do everything possible to help these people,” Broward County Democratic Mayor Mark Bogen said in the statement. “If the President will not provide us with financial assistance to house and feed these people, he will be creating a homeless encampment.”
Bogen suggested that the migrants should be housed in Trump hotels.
“In my opinion, the people that we can’t find shelter for and will become homeless, I would suggest that we bring them to the Trump hotels and ask the President to open his heart and home as well,” Bogen said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., responded to the news on Twitter, saying border detention centers are currently overwhelmed.
“Unlawful arrivals are overwhelming our system,” Rubio wrote. “Now I have just been informed by #PalmBeach Sheriff that starting next week Border Patrol will begin transporting 500 migrants a month from border to #Broward and #PalmBeach #Florida, releasing them pending an asylum hearing.”
“I sent a letter to the acting Secretary of @DHSgov regarding the plan to transport 500 unlawful migrants per month to both #PalmBeach & #Broward county #Florida,” he later added. “Customs & Border Protection is being overwhelmed by an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers on our border.”
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said he has also reached out to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for clarification on the plan. Scott blamed Democrats for the current situation on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“There were almost 99,000 apprehensions at the southern border in April, more than double the number of apprehensions in January,” Scott spokesperson Chris Hartline told Politico. “It’s a crisis and needs to be fixed.”
So far, the Trump administration has been silent about the plan to send asylum seekers to Florida. Last month, Trump endorsed the idea of sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities around the country as a solution to alleviating overcrowded detention centers.
Liberals and Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed outrage at the time.
“The extent of this Administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement. “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.”
Progressive actress and activist Alyssa Milano was also 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.”
However, 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.”