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April 16, 2019

*-- Sanders: White House 'reviewing' plan to send detained immigrants to sanctuary cities --*

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Sunday a proposed plan to send undocumented immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities is being reviewed.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sanders said the White House is considering all options including the proposed plan to transport detained immigrants to cities that have enacted policies to prevent people from being deported under federal immigration laws -- such as Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia -- that was first reported in the Washington Post.

"Nobody thinks that this is the ideal solution," Sanders said. "But until we can fix the crisis at the border, we have to look at all options. This is one of them. Whether or not it moves forward -- that's yet to be determined. This was raised at a staff level initially and pushed back on. The president wants to explore it again and that's being done and they're doing a complete and through review."

President Donald Trump confirmed the existence of the proposal Friday, saying that it should make "The Radical Left" happy.

"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," he wrote on Twitter.

Appearing on ABC News' This Week, Sanders said the proposal was initially brought up at a staff level, where it was determined that "there were a lot of challenges and it didn't make sense to move forward" from a logistical standpoint, but Trump pushed for it to be explored further.

"The president heard the idea, he likes it," she said. "We're looking to see if there are options that make it possible and doing a full and thorough extensive review."



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Sanders said the proposed policy would take burden off of border cities by sending the migrants to places "who constantly claim to want to have open borders and want to have an open city."

"So let's put some of those people into their communities and into their towns and see if they are okay then with that same impact," she said.

Sanders added that she believes Democrats have no plan on immigration other than "fighting the president."

"It's a sad day in America when the Mexican government is willing to do more for the United States' illegal immigration problem than Democrats in Congress," she said.

On Sunday, Democrats criticized Trump for threatening to release illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities.

"The president has no right to spend money appropriated by Congress for other purposes to ship immigrants all over the country," Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, said on CNN's State of the Union.

Nadler, who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said it isn't "just nor is right for the president to use immigrants or people who are claiming political asylum as pawns in a fight against political opponents," Nadler said. "He shouldn't use them as what he imagines as retribution to political opponents in various areas. It's another misuse of presidential power, against the law."

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the head of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on ABC's This Week the sanctuary city plan is aimed at creating "manufactured chaos" at the border.

Sanders condemned efforts by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to review Trump's tax returns, saying she doesn't believe congressional Democrats are "smart enough" to review the documents.

"This is a dangerous dangerous road and frankly ... I don't think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump's taxes will be," she said. "My guess is most of them don't do their own taxes and I certainly don't trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything."

She went on to describe the requests to view Trump's tax returns as "a disgusting overreach" and "all about political partisanship."