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Trump weighs sending ‘unlimited supply’ of immigrants to sanctuary cities

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Trump weighs sending 'unlimited supply' of immigrants to sanctuary cities

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday he was considering sending illegal immigrants in the country to so-called sanctuary cities, prompting U.S. mayors to accept such an offer as the battle over border security raged.

Frustrated by rising numbers of undocumented immigrants arriving at the southern border and a failure to get Congress to fully fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump taunted Democrats by dangling the possibility of an influx of illegal immigrants into their communities.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney responded in a statement: “While the Trump administration’s proposal shows their disdain to basic human dignity, the City (Philadelphia) would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades.”

In February, a federal appeals court said the Trump administration could not terminate federal grants to Philadelphia for its refusal to cooperate with immigration agents seeking to deport immigrants.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement “We would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar.”

Sanctuary cities are local jurisdictions that generally give undocumented immigrants safe harbor by refusing to use their resources to help enforce federal immigration laws that could lead to deportations.

Those localities argue that it is not their responsibility to get involved in federal enforcement and that doing so could hinder policing efforts within communities.

The Washington Post first reported on Thursday that the White House has been considering a plan for transporting immigrants in detention and releasing them into sanctuary cities that are Democratic strongholds.

The newspaper reported there was resistance from some high-level Department of Homeland Security officials concerned about several aspects of such a plan, including the potential costs.

Nevertheless, Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, said of sanctuary cities, “We can give them an unlimited supply” of immigrants.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said these would be “illegal aliens that are already set for release,” which likely would include families with children.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hometown of San Francisco is another sanctuary city.

In remarks to reporters on Friday, Pelosi, a Democrat, said she was not aware of the newspaper report. But she added, “it’s just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face, as a country, as a people, to address who we are, a nation of immigrants.”

Pelosi was in Leesburg, Virginia, where House Democrats were wrapping up a three-day retreat.

One immigration expert, who asked not to be identified, noted that undocumented immigrants in federal custody could be at one of several stages of the adjudication process and that Trump likely has the power to have them sent to different jurisdictions from where they are being held.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to questions as he and first lady Melania Trump meet with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

But the source added, “This is a stunt. It doesn’t enhance the efficiency of the process.”

Trump’s challenge to Democrats came one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican like Trump, told reporters that he wanted to launch bipartisan negotiations to seek solutions to the nation’s immigration woes.

In March alone, 103,492 undocumented immigrants have been taken into custody along the southern border or turned away. Many of them are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and are seeking asylum in the United States away from high levels of violent crime and illegal drugs at home.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Richard Cowan in Washington and Susan Cornwell in Leesburg, Virginia; editing by Richard Chang and James Dalgleish

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Trump sues to block Democrats’ subpoena for financial information

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Republican convention set for August 2020 in Charlotte

Lawyers for President Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by members of Congress that sought the business magnate’s financial records.

The complaint named Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Peter Kenny, the chief investigative counsel of the House committee, as its plaintiffs.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Seth Moulton entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race on Monday as a long-shot contender in a contest that now includes almost 20 candidates.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) speaks at a Merrimack County Democrats Summer Social at the Swett home in Bow, New Hampshire, U.S., July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

A 40-year-old Iraq War veteran who represents a district in Massachusetts, Moulton enters the race as an underdog, with little national name recognition and a shorter track record than some rivals who have spent years in the U.S. Senate or as state governors.

Moulton has built a political career by challenging the party’s establishment. He entered Congress in 2015 after winning a Democratic primary challenge against John Tierney, who had held the seat for 18 years.

After Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Moulton helped organize opposition to Representative Nancy Pelosi’s bid to again become Speaker of the House.

He ended his opposition to Pelosi with a statement saying: “Tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker, and we need to keep having them if we’re going to deliver on the change that we’ve promised the American people.”

In a YouTube video announcing his presidential candidacy, he said: “Decades of division and corruption have broken our democracy and robbed Americans of their voice.”

“While our country marches forward, Washington is anchored in the past,” he said.

In the video, Moulton said he wants to tackle climate change and grow the U.S. economy by promoting green jobs as well as high tech and advanced manufacturing.

Moulton served in the Marines from 2001 to 2008. During his 2014 congressional bid, he became a vocal critic of the Iraq War in which he served, saying no more troops should be deployed to the country.

He has advocated stricter gun laws, saying military-style weapons should not be owned by civilians.

Moulton supports the legalization of marijuana and told Boston public radio station WGBH in 2016 that he had smoked pot while in college.

He graduated from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in physics in 2001 and returned to receive a master’s degree in business and public policy in 2011.

For a graphic of the 2020 presidential candidates, see: tmsnrt.rs/2Ff62ZC

Reporting by Ginger Gibson; additional reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Jonathan Oatis, Kirsten Donovan and David Gregorio

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as they travel to Florida for Easter weekend, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee that sought information about his and his businesses’ finances.

“Chairman Cummings’ subpoena is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose,” lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization said in court filing.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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