Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Trump will spread the migrant "burden" to sanctuary cities

Trump's press secretary said the president is spreading the "burden" of migrants to sanctuary cities

By Matthew Rozsa

Published April 14, 2019 12:00PM (EDT)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Alex Brandon)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Alex Brandon)

Update: Sarah Huckabee Sanders also appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and told host Chris Wallace that "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."

President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, appeared on ABC's "This Week" to tout the White House's plan to transport migrants to sanctuary cities run by Democrats, as well as verbally attack Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

"If Democrats would step up and help the president fix the laws, this all could go away, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, and that would be the best thing for the country and that would certainly be the best way to solve this crisis and fix this problem," Sanders told anchor George Stephanopoulos.

She added, "If Democrats continue to be unwilling to do that, then we’re going to look at all of our options and we don’t want to put all of the burden on one or two border communities. And Democrats have stated time and time again they support open borders, they support sanctuary cities. So, let’s spread out some of that burden and let’s put it in some of those other locations if that’s what they want to see happen and are refusing to actually help fix the problem."

On Saturday the president tweeted that "....So interesting to see the Mayor of Oakland and other Sanctuary Cities NOT WANT our currently 'detained immigrants' after release due to the ridiculous court ordered 20 day rule. If they don’t want to serve our Nation by taking care of them, why should other cities & towns?"

He later added, "Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants - and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!"

To defend Trump's new policy, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News on Saturday that "they have said they wanted all of these illegal aliens into their communities. We're working with DHS, we're working with ICE, to try and make sure that happens because, after all, it's what they want. They should not say, 'This is retribution politically.' They should say, 'This is an olive branch,'" according to The Hill.

Sanders also defended Trump when Stephanopoulos pointed out that some had accused the president's tweets of inciting anti-Muslim violence against her. This included a tweet that juxtaposed a speech by Rep. Omar with footage of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

"Certainly the president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone, but the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman for her not only one time but history of anti-Semitic comments," Sanders told Stephanopoulos. "The bigger question is why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing? It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments that she continues to make and has made and they look the other way."

She added, "I find what her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress and I think that it’s a good thing that the president is calling her our for those comments. And the big questions is why aren’t Democrats doing it as well? And not just doing it, but doing it by name. They do these watered down push backs that frankly they feel like give them enough cover, but aren’t really getting the job done."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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