WH considered releasing migrants in 'sanctuary cities': Report

The White House considered the move in hopes of hurting Democrats in those cities, according to a new report in The Washington Post.
2:37 | 04/12/19

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Transcript for WH considered releasing migrants in 'sanctuary cities': Report
We have a lot more on that but also a lot of news to get to. A big revolution on the border battle. The trump white house pushed for detained immigrants to sanctuary cities. Immigration officials are calling it illegal and unwise. Jon Karl has the story. Good morning, Jon. Reporter: Good morning, George. It sounds too outlandish to be true but the white house is confirming there was consideration to take undocumented immigrants across the border illegally and move them to the streets of cities governed by Democrats opposed to the president's immigration policies. The plan reported first by "The Washington post" and confirmed by ABC news could have transported the migrants to so-called sanctuary cities where local leaders have a policy of not cooperating with federal immigration officials. The idea was first raised in November shortly after the midterm elections when the president was raising alarms about caravans of undocumented immigrants coming from central America to seek asylum in the United States. The Democrats want open borders and they want these people coming in. Many of those people are criminals, okay? Reporter: The plan which would have moved migrants to districts represented by political foes of the president including Nancy Pelosi was reported to congress by whistleblowers, according to "The Washington post." "The post" reports the white house asked the department of homeland security to review an idea in an email that added, there is not a white house decision on this. In a statement released just after the story broke, the white house said, this was just a suggestion. It was floated and rejected which ended any further discussion. But the white house asked dhs again to explore the idea in February in the midst of the government shutdown when the president was battling Democrats over funding of the border wall. Overnight Nancy Pelosi's spokeswoman said in a statement the extent of this administration's cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated, 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. A senior department of homeland security official tells ABC news that the president himself raised this idea directly with then secretary of dhs kirstjen Nielsen. Nielsen asked the legal team at the department of homeland security to review the idea. They flatly rejected it, Cecilia, saying it is simply illegal. A lot of tough questions for the white house later today. Jon Karl, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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