ICE reportedly rejected the suggestion twice citing budgeting concerns and a public relations nightmare the move would create.
The Trump administration reportedly pushed immigration authorities to dump illegal migrants in sanctuary cities as a retaliatory measure.
On two different occasions, the White House approached Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the possibility of transporting detained illegal immigrants and releasing them into sanctuary cities, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The idea — pitched by White House senior adviser Stephen Miller — was first proposed to immigration officials in November when a caravan was approaching the U.S. southern border, and again in February when Democrats and the White House were locked in a standoff over funding for the president’s border wall.
The administration wanted the migrants to be released in cities with a strong Democratic presence and even targeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco, according to Department of Homeland Security officials. When the White House first proposed the idea in November, officials sent an email asking several agencies whether members of the then-incoming caravan could be arrested and bussed “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities” where local law enforcement officials refused to cooperate with ICE.