After tweeting that his administration was considering a move to send undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities, Trump told a crowd gathered at a Wisconsin rally that the authorities have begun sending immigrants to cities around the country.
According to The Hill, Trump took credit for the decision, calling it his “sick idea.”
“Last month alone, 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived at our borders, placing a massive strain on communities and schools and hospitals and public resources like nobody’s ever seen before,” Trump said to a crowd in Green Bay Saturday. “Now we’re sending many of them to sanctuary cities. Thank you very much. They’re not too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.”
“What did they say? ‘We want them,’” Trump dded. “I said we’ll give em to you.”
Trump’s admission comes a day after he told the NRA that the United States had been forced to release migrants, adding that the decision gave sanctuary cities “”as many as they can handle,” according to CNN.
According to the Washington Post, Trump officials first told the Department of Homeland Security about the idea earlier this month. Trump’s administration had tried and failed to persuade DHS to release thousands of detainees in small and medium-sized cities that had bucked federal immigration authorities in the past.
While DHS has yet to make a formal announcement released to undocumented migrants, the Pentagon is preparing the loosen a set of rules that bar troops from interacting with migrants entering the country, expanding military involvement along the southern border.
According to the Texas Tribune, Defense Department officials recommended that acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan approve a new DHS request to provide military lawyers, cooks and drivers to assist with a surge of migrants.
The move would require waivers for more than 300-troops, due to a longstanding policy which bars military personnel from coming into contact with migrants. The Pentagon has approved one such request once since Trump took office, though Shanahan is expected to sign the request Friday.
The expansion of military activity is set to cost an additional $21.9 million. Personnel will remain in a “segregated driver’s compartment” when driving migrants to detention facilities, according to the Tribune. They would also be accompanied by law enforcement when called to distribute food in detention centers or to document the provision of care.
The request comes as migrants have pushed DHS agents to “the breaking point,” according to department officials, who noted that agents are being syphoned from law enforcement duties to care for parents and children.
Earlier this month, Trump told a pool of reporters gathered near the border that the “country is full,” adding that the nation’s immigration system could no longer absorb “a mass influx of illegal immigrants,’ according to network.
“No, we’re witnessing people that are going to be brought out of the country,” Trump said to cartoon motorcycle gang leader Griff Jenkins, who asked the President whether the second generation of DACA residents could be forming among new arrivals. “[T]he country is full,” he finished.