Nadler on new Trump 'sanctuary cities' plan: 'morally repugnant and probably illegal'

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members As impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution MORE (D-N.Y.) excoriated President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE over his proposal to send detained immigrants to “sanctuary cities” as a way to retaliate against Democrats, saying the move was immoral and likely illegal.

Though reports surfaced Thursday evening of White House officials dismissing the proposal, Trump confirmed Friday that the plan was indeed being considered.

The move comes as the president signals he is doubling down on his hard-line tendencies on immigration, most recently overseeing changes at the Department of Homeland Security that forced the departure of many of the agency’s upper echelon, including Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenWhite House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary MORE.

Top Democratic lawmakers have torched Trump over the "sanctuary city" proposal. Such cities are those that do not cooperate with federal immigration authors through information-sharing or detaining immigrants.

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“I don’t know anything about it, but again, 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 county, as a people, to address who we are: a nation of immigrants,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see MORE (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“If it’s true, it is very unfortunate and to be condemned,” House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony Hoyer calls GOP efforts to out whistleblower 'despicable' MORE (D-Md.) echoed. “That you could use ICE — or any other federal agency — to penalize or to visit retribution for political reasons, that's not the act of a democratic government.” 

The Washington Post reported this week that acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Matthew Albence, then the acting deputy director of the agency, rejected a similar proposal in November. Department of Homeland Security officials also reportedly shut down the idea again in February.